Panthers' Darnold, Jets' Wilson primed for Week 1 faceoff
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson during rookie minicamp.  Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers' Sam Darnold, Jets' Zach Wilson primed for Week 1 faceoff in Carolina

When the New York Jets spent their 2018 third-overall pick on Sam Darnold, they hardly expected that the former USC quarterback would be their 2021 Week 1 opponent.

But here we are.

The NFL released its Week 1 schedule Wednesday morning, and the Jets will be paying a visit to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Sept. 1.

New York traded Darnold to Carolina in early April and received three picks (2021 sixth-rounder plus 2022 second- and fourth-rounder) in return. That set the stage for the Jets to nab BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the second-overall pick April 29.

Darnold never found his footing as a Jet. The 23-year-old threw for 8,097 yards, 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions while posting a 13-25 record across 38 starts. However, he has already begun endearing himself to Panthers faithful:

The Panthers were quarterbacked last season by Teddy Bridgewater, who was dealt to the Denver Broncos the day before this year's draft kicked off.

Carolina finished 2020 at 5-11, while the Jets limped to a 2-14 record.

Megan Armstrong (@megankarmstrong) is a writer with previous work appearing in places such as Billboard, Bleacher Report, GQ and others. She's most interested in writing about people and how they live their lives, through the framework of music, entertainment and sports.

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