SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

49er of the Game Week 8: Running Back Christian McCaffrey

Nov 2, 2022, 9:00 AM
Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a game against the Los Angeles ...
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 30: Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers played arguably their best second half of the season Sunday, scoring 21 unanswered points to beat the Los Angeles Rams on the road, 31-14. One of the biggest reasons for that: Running back Christian McCaffrey.

In his second game with the 49ers, CMC was unleashed by head coach Kyle Shanahan, breaking out for 183 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns against the Rams. Slashing through the Blue & Gold’s offense, McCaffrey scored all three TDs in different ways.

First scoring a passing TD in the second quarter, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo flipped it back to McCaffrey before he launched it to a wide-open Brandon Aiyuk for the 34-yard score. The play caught SoFi Stadium, and the audience around the world, by surprise, tying the game up at 7-7 early in the quarter.

That was actually McCaffrey’s second touchdown pass of his career, throwing his first back in 2018 to tight end Chris Manhertz while on the Carolina Panthers.

The second touchdown was even more pivotal than the first. Faced with a critical third down near the Rams’ goalline, Garoppolo spots his running back off to the right side of the field, lobbing a ball to him in the endzone. McCaffrey jumped high in the air to snag the ball, coming down in-bounds for the score and giving the 49ers the lead in late in the quarter.

Coming back for thirds, CMC broke his biggest run of the day in the fourth quarter, hitting the hole up the gut with ease, before cutting back to the left side of the field. Racing down the sideline with Rams defenders, McCaffrey got knocked out of bounds at the one-yard line for a gain of 25 yards.

He finished off the drive the very next play, knifing his way into the endzone to take control of the contest.

McCaffrey made history Sunday, becoming the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005 to score a passing, receiving, and rushing TD in the same game. Only four players — Walter Payton (1979), David Patten (2001), LaDainian Tomlinson (2005) and now Christian McCaffrey — have achieved such a feat since the league merger in 1970. He finished with 26 touches for 139 yards from scrimmage, also adding 34 yards through the air on top of his three scores.

 

A real force to be reckoned with, CMC is the only player in the NFL to be in the Top-15 of both rushing and receiving categories through the first eight weeks of the 2022 season. Through eight weeks, McCaffrey has over 900 all-purpose yards, setting him on pace for his first Pro Bowl appearance since 2019.

A true professional on and off the field, the Stanford alum loves life back in the Bay Area, hoping to help lead the Red & Gold to a sixth Super Bowl ring this season.

“I just wanted to be me,” McCaffrey said postgame Sunday. “This room is filled with so many great players who feed off of each other. My job is not to do anything other than be myself and just a credit to them, they’ve welcomed me into the locker room with open arms and I’m just so thankful to be here.”

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