Sam Darnold might not be the best rushing quarterback in NFL history, but he now has a mark that stands alone. Darnold rushed for a pair of scores on Sunday against the Cowboys, which makes him the first quarterback to rush for five TDs in the first four games of the season, according to Elias Sports and ESPN Stats & Info.
The performance is evoking memories of Cam Newton, whose 70 rushing touchdowns are the most by any primary QB in NFL history.
Darnold tied up the game at seven with 2:41 left in the first quarter when he ran into the end zone from a yard out to make it a 7-7 game.
The next drive, he again disappointed fantasy owners of Chuba Hubbard when he ran up the middle for an 11-yard score.
By halftime, Darnold had rushed four times for 28 yards, which tied his personal-best third-most rushing yard record in a single game.
Darnold hasn’t exactly been a burner this season. Entering the game, he had rushed for 17 yards on 14 carries with three touchdowns. Among QBs that had scored at least three times on the ground in the first three weeks of the season, Darnold’s 17 yards were the third-fewest, trailing only Jack Kemp (-4 yards) and Jim Finks (15), according to Stathead.
And his speed isn’t what one would expect out of a particularly fast quarterback. He clocked in at 4.85 in the 40-yard dash back in the 2018 NFL Combine, according to Stathead. For reference, Cam Newton ran a 4.56 time.
Darnold has continued to enjoy a career renaissance in Carolina. On top of his league-leading rushing touchdowns, Darnold also has a career-high 68.2 percent completion percentage, three passing touchdowns, only one interception and 888 passing yards through his first three games.
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