What would the Panthers record look like with Christian McCaffrey?

(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Christian McCaffrey
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Would the Carolina Panthers be in playoff contention with a healthy Christian McCaffrey?

Christian McCaffrey is one of a kind. The running back possesses the sort of talent you only see once in a generation and he has taken the league by storm since the Carolina Panthers took him No. 8 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.

However, it’s been a frustrating season so far for McCaffrey. He has turned out in just 3.5 games during the campaign due to shoulder and ankle problems at a time when the Panthers probably needed him more than ever after substantial changes to their coaching staff and player personnel in the offseason.

Carolina deserves credit for being competitive even without the best dual-threat back in the NFL. They have failed to get over the line in crucial moments on countless occasions, so if McCaffrey had been available for the entire season, things could look far different at the bye week.

The former Stanford sensation looks set to make a return to the lineup in time for the Panthers’ home game against the Broncos in Week 14. This will be a significant boost to a team that is low on confidence after their capitulation at the Minnesota Vikings and it might just see a turnaround in the team’s fortunes down the stretch.

Yes, he is just that good.

This has the possibility to at least build some momentum ahead of another crucial offseason period in 2021. But what would Carolina’s record look like had McCaffrey been available for the entire 2020 season?