4 key observations from Christian McCaffrey’s performance vs. 49ers

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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What were some key observations from Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey’s performance against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5?

It’s hard to put into words just how bad the Carolina Panthers would look offensively if it wasn’t for Christian McCaffrey. The running back has been the team’s one shining light within their skill positions, putting up impressive numbers despite the coaching staff failing to find the right balance when it comes to his usage through four weeks.

McCaffrey hasn’t missed a game yet, either. That might not sound all that impressive. but it’s extremely welcome considering the complications suffered by the former Stanford standout since signing his lucrative contract extension.

Sunday’s game against the stout San Francisco 49ers defense was arguably McCaffrey’s toughest challenge of 2022 to date. Something that saw the Panthers collapse to another heavy loss that spelled the end for head coach Matt Rhule.

With this in mind, here are four key observations from McCaffrey’s performance versus the Niners in Week 5.

Key Observation No. 1

Christian McCaffrey
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

Christian McCaffrey’s touches were balanced

There was more balance to Christian McCaffrey’s usage in Week 5. Running the football wasn’t really an option as the Carolina Panthers chased things in the second half, but this was encouraging and something that indicates the penny’s finally dropped for offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.

McCaffrey gained 14 carries for 54 rushing yards and a touchdown to go along with seven receptions from 12 targets for 50 receiving yards. It didn’t have an impact on the overall outcome, but the Stanford product was the one shining light for an offense relatively devoid of any inspiration currently.