4 key observations from Christian McCaffrey’s performance vs. the Saints

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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What were some key observations from Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey’s performance against the New Orleans Saints in Week 3?

It was a lot better from Christian McCaffrey’s point of view in Week 2. The Carolina Panthers leaned on their best weapon more heavily and going over 100 rushing yards for the first time since 2019 was another positive step in the right direction following so much unfortunate luck on the injury front.

This wasn’t enough for the Panthers to end a concerning nine-game losing run. Something which piled further pressure on McCaffrey and the team during a pivotal Week 3 divisional encounter against the New Orleans Saints in front of their home faithful.

McCaffrey hasn’t enjoyed the greatest success versus the Saints. His career-high is 74 rushing yards in Week 2 last year, which was the last time Carolina won a regular-season game at Bank of America Stadium before a catastrophic run of form under head coach Matt Rhule.

The former first-round pick played his part in Carolina’s first win in 10, which came when it was needed more than ever given the pressure on head coach Matt Rhule. With this in mind, here are four key observations from McCaffrey’s performance against the Saints in Week 3.

Key Observation No. 1

Christian McCaffrey
(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey looked explosive early

It didn’t take long for Christian McCaffrey to announce himself in this one. An explosive burst right out of the gate set the tone behind a positive performance overall, even if the offense wasn’t entirely clicking during the opening exchanges.

McCaffrey’s quick burst hasn’t gone away despite his injury problems over the last two seasons. How the Carolina Panthers deploy him will be interesting as the wear and tear grows leading up to their Week 13 bye.