Christian McCaffrey has been near unstoppable for the Carolina Panthers over the past five weeks.
Football is a team sport as three separate units – offense, defense and special teams – all attempt to correlate their efforts into a win each and every week but sometimes an individual effort needs to be recognized. For the Carolina Panthers, you’d have a hard time blaming any of the latest five losses on running back Christian McCaffrey.
The second-year back has been phenomenal under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner and provided a consistent weapon for quarterback Cam Newton in the process. While his skill set and dynamic play making capabilities have always been apparent, his recent string of success deserves special attention.
Beginning with a three touchdown effort on national television in Pittsburgh, a game the Panthers lost 52-21, McCaffrey was responsible for nearly every Carolina point. The performance served to jump start what has been a late season surge for the former first-round pick.
Laying to rest any doubts McCaffrey could not handle the workload as a feature back in the NFL, the Panthers rising star has averaged 84.8 yards on the ground over the past five games, scoring eight total touchdowns and missing only four pass attempts in 41 targets.
Carolina has scored 104 points in the last five games and McCaffrey has accounted for nearly half of them. Twice he’s topped the 100-yard rushing mark, averaging over 10-yards per carry against NFC South rival Tampa Bay.
Totaling 424 yards on the ground and 323 through the air in the past five weeks, he’s been the top offensive performer for the Panthers – arguably for the entire year. McCaffrey ranks fifth in total yards from a running back and leads his position in reception yards (701) and touchdowns (6).
In Week 12, McCaffrey became the first Panthers player ever to have both 100 passing and rushing yards in the same game, while setting a franchise record with 237 yards from scrimmage. Another losing effort, Carolina lost 30-27 to visiting Seattle, in which McCaffrey has flourished.
Three games remain and while McCaffrey would likely trade any individual accomplishments for a team win, there’s no denying he’s doing his part to help the Panthers achieve success.