It has been nothing short of a remarkable season for Carolina Panthers‘ star running back Christian McCaffrey as he has taken his performance to the next level. McCaffrey has engrained himself as one of the top talents at his position, but also the entire league. His breakout 2019 season has put him in the NFL record books on numerous occasions throughout the year. However, his play has put him in a spot where no player has been in the last five seasons.
Christian McCaffrey’s rise to stardom
There were plenty of doubts around McCaffrey entering the NFL that his unique all-around skillset could translate to the next level.
The Stanford product has more than answered the bell through his first three seasons in the league, proving to be one of the best running backs in the league. He has showcased his ability to become a legitimate three-down back while being an elite factor both as a runner and receiver out of the backfield.
McCaffrey has produced at an NFL-record pace that has seen him snap several marks over the last couple of seasons. That includes Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson’s single-season reception record, along with joining Chuck Foreman as the only players with at least 20 rushing touchdowns and 15 receiving touchdowns in his first three years.
The 23-year-old has added another impressive mark to his resume that nobody has accomplished over the past five years.
Christian McCaffrey’s unmatched production
Over his first three years in the league, McCaffrey has truly garnered separation as one of the top backs in the league through his dual-threat ability.
That has led to him become one of the most productive players in the NFL with his high level of production in both regards. McCaffrey added another strong outing to his season with 87 rushing yards and two touchdowns along with eight catches for 88 receiving yards, which pushed him up to an NFL-best six games with at least 175 scrimmage yards this season.
McCaffrey has now tallied 1,307 rushing yards with 14 touchdowns along with 94 catches for 814 receiving yards and four touchdowns through the first 14 games played. In fact, his numbers that no other player has reached in the last five seasons.
It made him the first player in Panthers history to reach more than 2,000 total scrimmage yards in a single season. He also became the 15th player in NFL history to notch more than 2,100 scrimmage yards in one of their first three seasons.
Although the Panthers have no playoff hopes, McCaffrey’s production has kept him in the MVP conversation.
Christian McCaffrey’s MVP chances
The Panthers’ season has continued to unravel down the stretch of the second half of the year, but it hasn’t deterred the stellar production from McCaffrey.
Instead, the Pro Bowler’s production has kept him among the top of the league along with remaining relevant in the MVP conversation. It has become quite a crowded discussion with the likes of Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Deshaun Watson, all in the mix as well.
McCaffrey has been the most overall productive running back in the league that will eclipse more than 100 receptions and potentially could finish as the leading rusher. But Carolina’s lack of success will wind up significantly hurting his chances as it has become a two-player race with Jackson holding the edge over Wilson.
Like Watson, the fact that he isn’t a serious threat to win the award, it shouldn’t dimish what he has accomplished on the field this season. There are two more games left for him to add to his totals that could see him finish among the top total scrimmage yards for a single campaign in NFL history and further cement his status as the best back in the game.