Christian McCaffrey had his best game as a pro in Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, and the way he racked up his nearly 200 total yards from scrimmage seemed particularly satisfying for the former first-round pick.
McCaffrey has developed somewhat of a reputation for being a running back/wide receiver hybrid who isn’t all that effective when running between the tackles. On Sunday, he rushed for 184 yards on 28 carries. When asked after the game if he is bothered by the narrative that he can’t run inside, McCaffrey admitted he takes note.
“It definitely bothers me,” he said, per Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. “But the more and more I go through this league, I learned that it’s never been about proving anyone wrong or proving anybody right. Just proving myself right.”
In Week 2, McCaffrey had the type of game that people have come to expect from him more when he caught 10 passes for 102 yards. While that is still worth bragging about, it seemed like he took more satisfaction in putting up big numbers on the ground this week.
“He’s obviously not just a receiving back, he’s a total running back,” Panthers quarterback Cam Newton told reporters. “He shows signs that this is not a fluke, he’s been doing this his whole career — collegiately as well as professionally.”
However you want to categorize him, McCaffrey is clearly emerging as one of the most dangerous offensive players in football. When you have a dual-threat quarterback who has someone like McCaffrey standing next to him in the backfield, game-planning becomes almost impossible.