4 key observations from Christian McCaffrey’s performance vs. Browns

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey was majorly underused in the first half

The Carolina Panthers seemed intent on getting Baker Mayfield going rather than using the first half to set the tone with Christian McCaffrey. A strange move from offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo considering how little the passing game was influencing proceedings.

We get it, the Cleveland Browns were putting most assets in the box to prevent McCaffrey from having a big say. But McAdoo had to do a better job of scheming things up to make the most out of Carolina’s best offensive weapon.

This gave the Panthers a mountain to climb after the break. McCaffrey cannot get four touches in the first half again if this offense wants to thrive during a crucial 2022 campaign.

There is a need to be cautious with McCaffrey no matter what the coaching staff told you leading up to the encounter. But for the player to become an afterthought when receivers were struggling to get open and Mayfield was erratic in his distribution was simply unacceptable.

Matt Rhule stated after the game that it took the Panthers way too long to get going. Something that was largely down to the fact McCaffrey was a bystander for most of the opening two quarters.

Thankfully, Carolina shifted course in the second half. But even though it was almost an unbelievable comeback late on, the damage was done long before.