San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey continued to make a strong case for the MVP award during the early part of the regular season as he scored 4 touchdowns during the Niners’ 35-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
McCaffrey collected 177 yards from scrimmage, scored four times and set a franchise record for most consecutive games with at least one touchdown (13, including the playoffs), and 49ers left tackle Trent Williams said that it may be time for that to change.
McCaffrey broke Jerry Rice’s record on the Niners’ first drive.
“Hey, all them streaks come to an end eventually, right?” Williams said, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “This might be the year. I can see it.”
“That means a lot,” McCaffrey said. “Touchdowns are a lot of fun. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling.”
McCaffrey, who was acquired via trade from the Carolina Panthers last year, has amassed a league-leading 600 yards and seven touchdowns from scrimmage (tied for the most in the NFL) and joined Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1963 ad 1958) and Emmitt Smith (1995) as the only players in NFL history with at least 600 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns in their first four games of the season.
“I’m not sure on the whole rest of the league right now but I thought he played like [an MVP] last year when he was here,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Christian’s so awesome, he helps us win every time he’s out there, but when you’ve got a guy who can do everything, you can always have unbelievable stats, but he shares that with a lot of other guys and we do whatever it takes to win. So, that’s to me the thing that would make it the hardest for him, just stats and just how it works out.”
Another 49er making a strong case to be included in the MVP conversation is quarterback Brock Purdy.
“He was great,” Shanahan said. “He was almost perfect … hung in there, made some big throws. A lot of times, that defense, they don’t give you the big throws, so you kind of got to pick them apart. He was very efficient at doing that. And when he had his opportunities for the big ones, he saw it right and made the right throws and our guys came down with them.”
Purdy, while speaking with NFL journalists following the game, was upset he missed McCaffrey in the flat during a third down play in the third quarter.
“Honestly, I’m still mad about what I missed to Christian,” Purdy said. “He broke out. He was open. I should have hit him and then we would’ve been in field goal range. That is something that I’m going to have to learn from and wish I could’ve had back.”
“I think you can just go down the list of what makes a quarterback good and he checks every box,” McCaffrey said. “And then he has all the intangibles, so that would be phenomenal. He brings a kind of swagger and energy every day that is fun to be around. He’s quiet but he’s very confident. He expressed that in the way he plays.”