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

Christian McCaffrey’s influence was diminished by a lackluster offense

The Carolina Panthers picked up the victory, which was the most important thing at the end of the day. It didn’t matter how it came and the contest was ugly overall, but there are some clear deficiencies on offense that must be rectified immediately if the coaching staff wants to build on this newfound momentum.

Baker Mayfield is front and center, with his indifferent distribution and hesitancy in the pocket seeing little progress made in the first half. Things improved after the break and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo deserves credit for scheming things in a fashion that put his playmakers in a position to thrive.

Third-down and red-zone efficiency must improve. Until it does, then Christian McCaffrey’s influence will be diminished to a certain extent.

McCaffrey is the league’s best dual-threat running back. Having him run in between the tackles was a tiring way to accumulate minimal yards and just two receptions from four targets for seven receiving yards just isn’t going to cut it, either.

Once the offense clicks fully and Mayfield becomes comfortable, then everyone will benefit. McCaffrey most of all behind what looks to be a much-improved offensive line.