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Panthers bench Newton, will start Darnold at QB vs. Saints

Darnold started the season 3-0 but has a 1-5 record in his last six starts.

NEW ORLEANS — The Carolina Panthers are set to face off against the New Orleans Saints Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule says Sam Darnold will start at quarterback on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints instead of 2015 league MVP Cam Newton. 

RELATED: Tar Heels QB Sam Howell declares for NFL Draft

Newton is 0-5 as Carolina's starting quarterback this year and has lost 13 straight starts as the Panthers starting QB dating back to the 2018 season. 

Darnold started the season 3-0 but has a 1-5 record in his last six starts. He led the Panthers to a 26-7 win over the Saints in Week 2, completing 26 of 38 passes for 305 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. 

Rhule called that his best game of the season.

As Rhule is nearing the end of his second double-digit loss season Carolina fans are growing restless with a team that seems to lack a direction at quarterback. 

Rhule has been searching for answers, even turning to a two-quarterback system that included rotating Cam Newton and Sam Darnold, who returned to action after missing five games with a shoulder injury. That didn’t work.

The Panthers managed just two field goals and were blown out 32-6 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday.

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