Matt Rhule not ready to name Panthers’ starting QB between Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold: ‘When we know we know’

The quarterback position was a sore point throughout Matt Rhule’s tenure with the Panthers.

In his freshman year in 2020, Rhule was saddled with Teddy Bridgewater as quarterback. When that didn’t work, the front office took the “ambitious” step of trading for Sam Darnold while he picked up his fifth-year option. Now Baker Mayfield is battling for the starting job with the former Jets quarterback at training camp.

According to The Athletic’s Joe Person, Mayfield is expected to be the starter. But Rhule himself isn’t committing just yet, having failed to play either Mayfield or Darnold in Friday’s preseason matchup against the Patriots.

“Not yet,” Rhule said after the Panthers’ 20-10 preseason loss to the Patriots on Friday (per ProFootballTalk). “You know, right now I’m not prepared for anything other than watching this video. Like I’ve been saying all along, when we know we know, and we’ll announce something when it’s right.”

MORE: Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold: Who will start Panthers QB in 2022?

The Panthers, of course, will host Mayfield’s old team, the Browns, on September 11th.

What are Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold’s career stats?

With both players entering their fifth seasons (with fifth-year options), both have a solid sample size of stats.

Mayfield, of course, has seen more team success after winning a playoff game under center for the Browns.

Career stats comparison

player Record as a starter COM ATT PCT YDS TD’s INT’s RTG
Baker Mayfield 29-30 1,185 1,924 61.6 14.125 92 56 87.8
Sam Darnold 17-32 972 1,625 59.8 10,624 54 52 76.9

MORE: Why Panthers’ Baker Mayfield is likely to start over Sam Darnold

Both quarterbacks played against the Commanders in the Panthers’ opener, with Darnold hurling a touchdown pass while going 2-of-3 passes for 15 yards. Mayfield was 4 of 7 for 45 yards.

Despite the small sample size, Rhule didn’t want them to play New England.

“The Ones didn’t play and these guys are both competing for the Ones so we wanted to make sure they had a chance,” Rhule explained of why they didn’t play. “We didn’t want to put one or two guys out there and play them behind the second offensive line.”

Rhule probably knows the seriousness of who he’s naming as his starter, as he’s entering this season with one of the hottest spots in the NFL among coaches.

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