Christian McCaffrey steps up big for Carolina


With Newton down, McCaffrey rises

Christian McCaffrey

With the Carolina Panthers’ season in peril, Christian McCaffrey has come to the rescue.

Indeed, with QB Cam Newton sidelined by a preseason foot injury, the Panthers made their third-year running back the centerpiece of their offense and he has risen to the occasion.

Through the season’s first five games, McCaffrey has rushed for 587 yards on 105 attempts (a 5.6 yards-per-carry average) with six touchdowns and another 279 yards through the air on 31 receptions and one TD. That’s 866 yards from scrimmage, the second-largest total in NFL history through the season’s first five games, behind only Jim Brown’s 988 in 1963.

McCaffrey’s best game of the year came in Week 5, when he rushed for 179 yards on 19 carries (for a 9.3 ypc average) with two touchdowns and another 61 yards on six receptions and another TD in the Panthers’ 34-27 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

With McCaffrey racking up the big numbers and drawing the attention of opposing defenses, that has allowed Newton’s stand-in Kyle Allen the breathing room to make the mistakes that come with being a young quarterback. The importance of that cannot be overstated, as it has enabled the Panthers to stay in contention in the NFC South while Newton heals.

No surprise, then, that the eighth overall pick out of Stanford has garnered a lot of early MVP buzz.

McCaffrey can be seen in action Sunday, Oct. 27, when the Panthers visit the San Francisco 49ers in a game airing on Fox.


Full name: Christian Jackson McCaffrey

Birth date: June 7, 1996

Birthplace: Denver

Height/weight: 5 feet, 11 inches/205 pounds

Teams: Carolina Panthers (2017-present)

College: Stanford

Draft: Selected in the first round (eighth overall) by the Panthers in 2017

Position: Running back

No.: 22

Honors and achievements: Second-team All-Pro (2018); Heisman Trophy runner-up (2015); consensus All-American (2015); Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year (2015)

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

gdicke has 1609 posts and counting.See all posts by gdicke

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