The Carolina Panthers meet the New York Jets in Week 1 of the 2021 season to set up a “revenge game” for QB Sam Darnold. The Jets took Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, but traded him to the Panthers this offseason and replaced him with QB Zach Wilson in the 2021 NFL draft.
Darnold will attempt to resurrect his career with the Panthers, who have a great skill positions group with Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, rookie Terrace Marshall Jr. and Darnold’s former teammate Robby Anderson. Most of the offense will run through McCaffrey, but Darnold will have to make some throws. The Jets will hope Wilson can make plays with an improved supporting cast, but New York is still in a rebuilding stage.
Date: Sunday, September 12th
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
The Panthers are favored at -5.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook given their superiority offensively. The Jets should be improved under new head coach Robert Saleh, but still have a ways to go in terms of talent. Carolina’s defense is suspect, but has some playmakers who can force Wilson into tough throws. Darnold should be ready to go in this game, but he also has the tendency to make errant throws. Fortunately for the Panthers, he probably won’t have to make too many key plays if McCaffrey clicks.