Christian McCaffrey

Barkley shares painful CMC confession, reveals Super Bowl prediction

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As the 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs prepare to face off in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday in Las Vegas, New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley shared his prediction on who he believes will walk out of Allegiant Stadium with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

"If I was a betting man, I don't think you bet against Patrick Mahomes, especially the way that defense is playing," Barkley said Monday morning on ESPN's "First Take." "They're playing at a high level. But I'm biased.

"I'm a big Christian McCaffrey fan. I hate to say this, but he's the best running back in the NFL right now. I'm going to go get him. So I'm going to go with San Fran."

McCaffrey has powered the 49ers to the Super Bowl in his first full season with the team, but the organization also has helped the All-Pro running back unlock a dominant and historic showing in 2023.

The 27-year-old racked up 2,023 yards from scrimmage in 16 appearances this season, earning a seat at the 2023 NFL MVP finalist table. His 1,459 rushing yards earned him the first rushing title of his seven-year NFL career.

Meanwhile, Barkley looks to get back to McCaffrey's level of production. The two-time Pro Bowl selection, who is an unrestricted free agent this offseason after spending six seasons with the Giants, isn't far removed from impact play. The 26-year-old compiled a career-high 1,312 rushing yards in 2022, but injuries have been an area of concern for the former AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

While McCaffrey has set the standard for Barkley moving forward, he'll enjoy cheering on his fellow back in Sunday's championship game.

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