Christian McCaffrey

Shanahan laments not giving CMC fifth TD attempt in 49ers' win

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Had Kyle Shanahan known how many touchdowns Christian McCaffrey scored in the 49ers' Week 4 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi's Stadium, perhaps the superstar running back could have tacked on another for good measure.

McCaffrey scored four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving) in the 35-16 win, and with San Francisco's offense on the goal line with 7:14 remaining in the fourth quarter, it was quarterback Brock Purdy -- not McCaffrey -- who scored the 49ers' fifth and final touchdown of the game.

In speaking to reporters after the game, Shanahan was asked if he could tell McCaffrey was in store for a special game.

"Not really, he is the same to me as he always is," Shanahan said. "There was space out there and with Elijah [Mitchell] being down, Deebo [Samuel] not practicing all week kind of gave him a few more opportunities and he didn't have to split it as much. And then when they're playing zone you never know when it's going to go to the back. A lot of those he's last in the progression and he's a hell of a check-down option, so it worked out very well."

Not only was Shanahan unaware of a change in McCaffrey's demeanor, but also he didn't realize his running back had scored four times in the game. If he had known, Shanahan would have given him the chance to score a fifth.

"Honestly I had no idea until we came in here that he had four touchdowns," Shanahan added. "I never know that type of stuff, I was shocked. Now I feel kind of bad about it. I wish I tried, but sometimes I snap at people when they tell me that stuff in games because it shouldn't matter until the game's over. He would have got five if we gave a chance to him ... I wish he had gotten five, he deserved it."

The four touchdowns were the most McCaffrey has scored in a game at any level and he certainly would have welcomed a fifth.

"I don't think so. I think four might have been my most ... (five) would have been nice," McCaffrey said postgame. "(Shanahan's) obviously got a lot in-game, that's the last of anyone's worries is to do that, so as long as we scored I was happy."

All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams always knew McCaffrey was good before he arrived to the 49ers in a midseason trade last season, but even admitted postgame that he didn't know McCaffrey was this good.

"I didn't. I didn't, I ain't going to lie I watched film from a far from a long time," Williams shared. "I knew he was really really good, I knew he was special and I knew he could do a lot of things that conventional running backs can't do. But watching him play conventional running back it's like wow how can you be that talented in the open field playing wide receiver and still continue to gash defenses? He's a special player, he really is."

Williams was unaware of how many touchdowns McCaffrey had after the running back's fourth score and if he had known, he would have adjusted his celebration accordingly.

"Honestly, I thought it was three, but when we were doing our little celebration we were hitting the 3 wood but we should have brought the 4 iron out," Williams added.

It's safe to say it's a good day on the gridiron when your coach and your teammates forget how many times you've scored.

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