Christian McCaffrey

How CMC etched his name in 49ers, NFL record books vs. Cardinals

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Christian McCaffrey’s rise in the NFL MVP conversation might only be matched by his continued ascent in league and 49ers record books.

The 49ers running back posted another amazing, multifaceted performance Sunday in a 45-29 win at Arizona, shredding the Cardinals’ defense for 187 yards from scrimmage (115 rushing, 72 receiving) and three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing). The third TD was his 80th in his 89th career game, making McCaffrey just the fifth running back in NFL history to score that many in his first 90 career games.

The other four: Pro Football Hall of Famers LaDainian Tomlinson (104 games) and Emmitt Smith (97), 2005 NFL MVP Shaun Alexander (91) and 2012 NFL MVP Adrian Peterson (83). That’s illustrious company.

But McCaffrey keeps illustrious company each week as he climbs the charts.

For example, Sunday’s win marked the 15th time that McCaffrey had one or more rushing TDs and one or more receiving TDs in the same game, tying him with Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk for the most in NFL history. So, it seems only a matter of time before McCaffrey stands alone atop that list. His six such performances with the 49ers already are a franchise record, ahead of Roger Craig and Jerry Rice’s five, and he’s played in just 25 games for San Francisco. Rice played 238, and Craig 121.

Sticking with his 49ers accomplishments, McCaffrey has seven consecutive games with 100 or more yards from scrimmage, tying Craig for the most in a season in team history. Considering McCaffrey posted a nine-game streak in 2019 and an eight-game run in 2018 — both with the Carolina Panthers — it wouldn’t be surprising to see this record fall.

McCaffrey also has 11 total games of 100-plus yards from scrimmage this season, again tying Craig atop the 49ers’ leaders list.

McCaffrey’s yardage totals are just as impressive in NFL annals. 

His 1,292 rushing yards and 509 receiving yards this season make him just the fourth player in NFL history with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in four or more career seasons. Faulk (five seasons, Thurman Thomas (four) and Tiki Barber (four) are the others. McCaffrey and Faulk (41 games) now are the only NFL players to post 30 career games with at least 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards.

Last but certainly not least, McCaffrey, with 6,018 rushing yards and 4,265 receiving yards since he entered the NFL in 2017, is the third player ever with at least 6,000 rushing yards and 4,000 receiving yards in his first seven seasons. Faulk and Craig did that, too.

Safe to say that last year’s McCaffrey trade worked out well for the 49ers, who are NFC West champions and Super Bowl favorites in the running back’s first full season in San Francisco. How many rings and records McCaffrey will end his 49ers tenure with seems to be the only question.

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