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Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold: How Panthers QB competition looks after Week 1 preseason game

We take a look at how the Panthers QB competition looked in Week 1 of the NFL preseason and how the depth chart battle is trending.

Baker Mayfield #6 and Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers warmup before the preseason game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on August 13, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers opened the preseason on the road against the Washington Commanders on Saturday and we got our first glimpse of the ongoing quarterback battle between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold.

Mayfield made the start and got a drive in his Panthers debut while Darnold got his own reps afterwards. We’ll go over how they performed below.

Week 1 preseason reps, stats

Baker Mayfield: Mayfield went 4-7 for 47 yards in his lone series of the game. He had a few incompletions and a fumbled snap, but still led the team on a 13-play, 53-yard drive that resulted in a field goal

Sam Darnold: Darnold went 2-3 for 16 yards with a touchdown. He had the fortune of starting his first drive on the Washington 19 after the defense recovered a fumble and proceeded to hit Rashard Higgins for an eight-yard touchdown three plays in. On his next series, he threw one incomplete pass as the offense went three and out.

Who has the edge in the QB battle entering Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason?

Even though Darnold got credited with a touchdown in this game, the edge goes to Mayfield heading into next Friday’s exhibition at the Patriots. The former No. 1 overall pick was able to sustain an actual drive and marched his team down the field for a score.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Rhule started Darnold against the Pats just to get him more reps.