After turning in yet another all-around afternoon, Christian McCaffrey has officially turned his special season into a legendary one.
During Sunday's 42-10 loss to the Saints, the Carolina Panthers star running back became only the third player in NFL history to have 1,000-plus rushing and receiving yards in a single season. The other two? Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk in 1999 and three-time Super Bowl Champion RB Roger Craig in 1985.
"I'm not sure I remember the exact moment I was aware of it. But, every year, I write down little goals and that was one of them. It's cool to accomplish one of your goals that you write down," McCaffrey said post-game about his benchmark. "But, once again, I can't reiterate this enough, the most important statistic is winning. It's a shame, I look at guys like Greg Olsen and Luke Kuechly, I look at them and they deserve better. There's a lot to learn from from this season, I think that's the most important thing."
Coming into the game, McCaffrey needed 67 receiving yards to reach the milestone, and he was able to accomplish that to cement what has been a MVP-caliber campaign for the third-year running back in the record books. In true CMC fashion, the history-making play came on a 17-yard catch-and-run that included a broken tackle at the 2:28 mark of the third quarter. Classic. He would go on to punch in his 15th rush TD of the year later on the same drive.
After hauling in one more catch for a gain of five midway through the fourth, McCaffrey exited the game to applause from the home crowd. He finished with seven catches for 72 yards, giving him 1,005 yards, and 26 rush yards on nine carries. He'll end his season with 19 total TDs and 2,392 scrimmage yards, the third-most in NFL history in a season and 118 shy of breaking the record.
Against the Colts in Week 16, McCaffrey caught all 15 of his targets for 119 yards, a display that allowed him to set a new NFL record for most catches by a RB in a season (109). Who was the previous record-holder, you might ask? That would be the 2018 version of McCaffrey, who snagged 108 catches -- the most since former Bears RB Matt Forte in 2012 (102).
Losing Cam Newton to injury and the firing of Ron Rivera has made 2019 one of the more tumultuous seasons in recent memory for Carolina but, through it all, McCaffrey has demonstrated his ability to be a consistent, dual-threat force. Being able to add this achievement under his belt on a rainy day in Charlotte is yet another shining example of that.