Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey is coming off a career-best season that saw him put up elite numbers across the board. Although he will likely come up short in the MVP award race, it shouldn’t diminish the type of season that he put together in 2019 that saw him set numerous NFL records along the way. His production did earn him one unique honor that no other player in league history accomplished.
Christian McCaffrey’s stellar 2019 campaign
In his third year in the league, McCaffrey took another leap forward with his play across the board, becoming the most productive running back in the league.
He finished third with 1,387 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns along with being second with 116 receptions for 1,005 receiving yards and four touchdowns. McCaffrey’s 116 catches were the most ever for a running back, breaking his previous record last season (107). He is the third player ever joining Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig to post more than 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.
He also became the first running back to record multiple 100-reception campaigns. At the same time, his 2,000-plus total scrimmage yards and 100 catches put him alongside Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson as the only players to achieve that feat. McCaffrey’s 2,392 total scrimmage yards are also a Panthers’ single-season record.
McCaffrey also holds the NFL mark for most receptions and receiving yards through the first three seasons. He also joined Hall of Famer Jim Brown as the only players to record at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in six out of the first eight games of a season. On top of that, he put himself in the same company as Chuck Foreman with at least 20 rushing touchdowns and 15 receiving touchdowns through the first three seasons.
Christian McCaffrey makes history…again
With all that in mind for what he put forth in the 2019 season, it doesn’t make it surprising that he capped it off by adding another impressive feat to his resume.
McCaffrey has earned the honor of being selected as First-Team All-Pro for both the running back and flex position, which was created back in 2016. It also marked the first time that he has earned a First-Team honor in his career. These are prestigious honors that he has voiced much gratitude towards earning in his third campaign, according to the Associated Press.
“It means a lot,” says McCaffrey, a third-year pro. “It is a big honor, and that is something that you don’t work hard for it, but when it comes you are really grateful and appreciative.”
The 23-year-old’s high level of production was unmatched at the position as he easily had the best numbers across the board. McCaffrey also broke numerous records along the way while proving to be arguably the best all-around running back in the league.
What lies ahead for Christian McCaffrey, Panthers
Although the Panthers didn’t experience much team success in 2019, finishing with a 5-11 record, the emergence of McCaffrey as the clear-cut top option in the offense.
That will be the task for new head coach Matt Rhule to figure out how to best utilize the offense. Another major piece of the puzzle is deciding what to do with star quarterback Cam Newton, as the Panthers don’t want to wear down their All-Pro running back from being a less-than-effective option in the offense.
Ultimately, whatever direction Carolina decides to go this offseason, it’s clear that McCaffrey will be a significant part of the game plan. The 2020 season could be a chance for him to shine again, but more importantly, see the Panthers back in the picture vying for the playoffs.