The 2018 season came to a close with an all too familiar ending for former first-round quarterback Ryan Tannehill. In his sixth season as the Dolphins' starter, he failed to lead his team to the playoffs yet again. Miami decided it was time to part ways with head coach Adam Gase as well as to let Tannehill seek a trade.
Fast forward a couple of years later and Tannehill has led his new team, the Tennessee Titans, to back-to-back postseason appearances. In his first season with the Titans, he was elected to his first Pro Bowl and brought home the AP Comeback Player of the Year award. His skillset was finally utilized in a way that allowed him to thrive. He put up an outstanding 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions stat line in 10 games played.
Tannehill's career has been revitalized since his departure from Miami and Adam Gase. This has some Panthers' fans wondering if Sam Darnold could replicate the same success with his second-chance opportunity.
Just like Tannehill, Darnold spent time with Adam Gase as his head coach. Darnold was a combined 9-16 in the games he started under the Gase tenure in New York.
Tannehill entered a great situation in Tennessee with AJ Brown and Corey Davis as his top two pass-catchers, much improved from what he had in Miami. Not to mention he had the All-Pro running back Derrick Henry behind him to take some of the pressure off of his shoulders.
Darnold enters into a great offense himself in Carolina with DJ Moore and former Jets teammate Robby Anderson leading the way and he also has an All-Pro in the backfield in Christian McCaffrey.
All reports out of early offseason programs indicate that Darnold is ready for the new opportunity. Anderson stated that his QB has "A new energy and a glowing charisma that he didn't really see in New York." McCaffrey added that he is "Dialed In".
The Panthers are smack in the middle of a three-year playoff drought. The team finally has the talent on the roster to possibly make a run. All that they are missing is some elite play out of the quarterback position. Darnold has not been able to be that guy thus far in his short career but if Joe Brady can utilize Darnold's strengths, then Carolina could put up a fight in the NFC South.
Tannehill's career arc is a great model for Darnold to aim for. He has shown enough flashes to earn this opportunity in Carolina. The team's owner and fan base are anxious for a winning season. Can Sam Darnold follow Ryan Tannehill's footsteps and lead them to one?
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