Alex Erickson returned the opening kickoff to the 18-yard line and the Commanders started the preseason on offense. A quick three-and-out led to a Tress Way punt that bounced inside the Panthers’ 25-yard line.
The starting Commanders’ defense featured linebackers Jamin Davis and Cole Holcomb. Facing a third down, new Carolina quarterback Baker Mayfield found an open Shi Smith for a big chunk play, extending the drive.
Wentz seemed comfortable in the pocket during his second drive, hitting a couple throws outside the numbers. On first down, Panthers defensive back Jeremy Chinn punched the ball away from Antonio Gibson and the Panthers took over in great field position.
Sam Darnold came in at quarterback for Carolina and instantly made a play, hitting Brandon Zylstra for eight yards. Just two plays later, Darnold lofted a pass to Rashard Higgins, who extended the Panthers lead to double digits..