Deep dive into Christian McCaffrey’s sensational Week 9 return

(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey and Teddy Bridgewater /

CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY. A. . RB. Carolina Panthers

Grading Christian McCaffrey’s Week 9 return

Christian McCaffrey has exceptional, game-changing talent. This comes with loftier expectations than most but it is hard not to look at his contribution in Week 9 at the Chiefs and not be impressed.

The do-it-all running back was clearly motivated to make a big impact upon his return, and it was mission accomplished from McCaffrey’s perspective. Although the Carolina Panthers couldn’t come up with the field-goal needed to secure a memorable victory on the final play, putting up such a strong fight at arguably the NFL’s most talented team is another big feather in their cap on a path to becoming a playoff contender in the future.

McCaffrey is going to be a huge part of any success that comes Carolina’s way. The organization didn’t give him a four-year, $64 million contract extension that included a $21 million signing bonus, and $38 million guaranteed this offseason for him not to be their focal point and this is a responsibility he’s taken very seriously over the last two years.

Getting the player back into an offense that seems to be clicking more often than not is a huge source of encouragement. No defense can cover every threat the Panthers have at their disposal and providing offensive coordinator Joe Brady and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater make the right decisions, then it could come with some substantial numbers across the board.

Christian McCaffrey grade at the Chiefs: A

McCaffrey’s ability to hit the ground running might have been something of a surprise after so long out. But nobody thought it was out of the realms of possibility. Hopefully, the rib injury he suffered that prevented him from making a difference on the final drive isn’t too serious and CMC can spearhead the Panthers to bigger and better things moving forward.