In his third year in the league, Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey continues to build his resume as being one of the top running backs in the league and certainly one of the best in his draft class. It has seen him add numerous NFL and team records along the way, which he did once again in Sunday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, further boosting his MVP candidacy.
Christian McCaffrey’s strong early bid for MVP
Heading into the 2019 season, there was much expectation that McCaffrey would shoulder a significant workload to take over as the primary offensive factor in Carolina.
What has further emphasized this game plan has been star quarterback Cam Newton dealing with a nagging foot injury. McCaffrey has thrived in this expanded role as he has put together a career-best start through the first several weeks of the season.
In the first five games, he notched more than 100 rushing yards three times, at least one rushing touchdown on four occasions, and 10 or more receptions twice that has also fueled his historic start in fantasy football. He had his best outing of the year in Week 5 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, posting 176 rushing yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns, along with six receptions on nine targets for 61 receiving yards and a touchdown.
McCaffrey has now added yet another impressive mark to his strong 2019 campaign.
Christian McCaffrey makes Panthers history….again
The 23-year-old has racked up a few notable franchise marks through the first several games of the 2019 season.
McCaffrey may not have produced in the manner expected against the Buccaneers, but he tallied both rushing and receiving touchdowns, which made him the first player to accomplish that feat in franchise history in back-to-back games.
It has also moved McCaffrey to eight total touchdowns through the first six games, putting him on a career-best pace to topple what he did last year, where he recorded 1,965 total yards from scrimmage. That included 1,098 rushing yards and seven touchdowns along with 867 receiving yards on 107 receptions, the most for a running back in a single season.
McCaffrey has been one of the most productive players in the league and a huge reason why the Panthers are in a position to make a strong push towards the playoffs. The hot start also sets up an opportunity for him to separate himself as the clear-cut frontrunner to hoist the MVP award.
Christian McCaffrey’s MVP bid
The strong start to the 2019 campaign has put him right in the mix for the MVP award alongside some of the league’s best talents.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has more than proved that his breakout 2019 campaign wasn’t a fluke as he’s making another strong bid to repeat to earn the honor. Meanwhile, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has marched his team into the thick of the playoff race after winning four out of the first five games of the season.
McCaffrey is on the fast track to contend for the MVP award throughout the season behind his tremendous workload. Carolina will continue to rely on him as the workhorse in the offense to lead the charge weekly, which should see his practice schedule be put on a limited basis to keep him fresh.
The only question will be whether the Panthers will keep McCaffrey healthy throughout the season. If they can stay on that path, there’s no reason to believe he won’t put together a career-best campaign potentially capped off by earning the MVP award.