Christian McCaffrey has been having a monster season for the San Francisco 49ers. It is safe to say that making the trade for him in 2022 was worth it. This year he has not slowed down one bit. As we await the NFC Championship Game that will take place this weekend, take a look back at McCaffrey’s 2023 season and what makes him such a great player.
Christian McCaffrey’s 2023 Season
McCaffrey played in 16 games for the 49ers throughout the regular season. He did not play in the final game due to a calf strain. The running back did make it clear that he would have played if the team needed the win, but by then they had already clinched the number one seed. This gave him time to heal up without the pressure of playing while injured, and potentially making things worse.
In his 16 games, McCaffrey had 272 rushing attempts for 1,459 yards, according to Pro Football Reference. He led the league in rushing yards, while also having 14 touchdowns. As known, McCaffrey is also a weapon in the passing game. This year, he had 67 receptions for 564 yards and seven touchdowns.
Not only did the running back have a successful season, but he also broke records. When the 49ers faced the Arizona Cardinals in week 15, he scored both a rushing touchdown and a receiving one. This put him at 15 games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown, tying him with Marshall Faulk for the most games all time.
Although he did not break the record for consecutive games with a touchdown, he did tie the record at 17. He unfortunately did not score a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars to break the record, but the team pushed hard to give it to him. Those are just two of the major records he either tied or broke, and fans should definitely expect more to come in future seasons.
The 49ers have only played in one playoff game so far, as they are the number one seed in the NFC. In the Divisional Round against the Greenbay Packers, McCaffrey had 17 carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns. He also had seven receptions for 30 yards. The offense took a long time for the offense to get their momentum going, but they did it when it mattered the most. McCaffrey scored the game-winning touchdown following a big drive downfield by Brock Purdy and company.
Christian McCaffrey Off the Field
Every football fan can see that McCaffrey is a leader on the field, but he is also one off the field. It is difficult to talk about McCaffrey’s excellence without also discussing The Logan Project. This is McCaffrey’s foundation that he started after learning about a young boy, Logan, and his story. More about Logan’s story can be found here. Logan sadly passed away in 2021, but McCaffrey ensures every day that his legacy lives.
The goal of this foundation is to place specialized gaming consoles in hospitals around the United States. This gives sick children the chance to connect with others and be able to have fun no matter what they are going through.
Christian McCaffrey’s Next Step
Next up is the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers will face the Detroit Lions on Sunday night. The 49ers have made it to the Championship Round all but one year since their victory in the 2019 season. This is the moment that the 49ers have been waiting for all season. McCaffrey had two touchdowns last weekend in a game that the offense struggled. With the momentum boost in the fourth quarter, it can be expected that McCaffrey once again, has a big game.
Of course, the Lions will be game-planning on how to stop McCaffrey. They have an excellent run defense. In the regular season, their opponents averaged just 88.8 yards per game, according to ESPN. Luckily he is also another receiver that the team will have to cover this weekend. Hopefully, the 49ers can get the run game going early in Sunday’s big matchup, control the time of possession, and get the win they have been hungry for for a long time.