Sam Darnold looks at home under Joe Brady

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Throughout the spring and summer, a working hypothesis for many football analysts was that under the tutelage of Joe Brady — and perhaps removed from the guidance of Adam Gase — Sam Darnold would enjoy a career revival with the Carolina Panthers.

Through six quarters, that hypothesis seems to be correct.

After helping the Panthers to a win over his old team in Week 1, Darnold was on fire in the first half against the New Orleans Saints. The young quarterback completed 16 of his 20 first-half attempts for 216 yards and a pair of touchdowns, as the Panthers raced out to a 17-0 halftime lead.

Darnold’s first touchdown of the game came on this boot-action design, with the quarterback rolling to his right before finding Brandon Zylstra working across the field to mirror him:

The pass is high, but Zylstra does a tremendous job of going up to get the throw and then slicing into the end zone for the score.

Darnold’s second touchdown strike targeted D.J. Moore, as the quarterback read a slant/flat combination perfectly down near the goalline:

Pre-snap, the Panthers send Christian McCaffrey in motion out of the backfield, and with a defender trailing him, Darnold knows the Saints are in man coverage. The pre-snap movement also clears out a window for Moore’s slant route, and once the receiver crosses the faces of the defender, Darnold knows he has his man. He puts the throw into Moore perfectly, and the Panthers are in the end zone again.

It is early, and as we saw last week the Saints offense can score points in bunches. But if this holds and the Panthers get to 2-0 behind an efficient and effective Darnold, many of the thesis statements from the summer will be looking correct.