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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey delivers career-defining performance in 49ers’ win vs. Cardinals

Oct 2, 2023 at 9:11 AM--

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The San Francisco 49ers put on a show on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. One of the many standouts in the 35-16 win was running back Christian McCaffrey.

The 49ers acquired McCaffrey nearly a year ago, sending second-, third-, and fourth-round draft picks in 2023, plus a fifth-rounder in 2024 to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the running back. At the time, not everyone was a fan of the deal.

"It's a tantalizing upside play," wrote ESPN's Seth Walder of the trade. "But the most likely outcome here is the 49ers will end up regretting this choice."

Needless to say, Walder and other critics were incorrect. McCaffrey has been everything head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers could have imagined and more. San Francisco has not lost a regular-season game with McCaffrey as the starter.

The versatile running back's impact on the team was on full display on Sunday. McCaffrey delivered a career-defining performance, carving himself a place in 49ers history.

McCaffrey was nothing short of sensational on Sunday. As if his 20 carries for 106 rushing yards and three touchdowns weren't enough, the running back added seven receptions for 71 yards and another touchdown.

McCaffrey's four touchdowns marked a career-high and stand as the most touchdowns recorded in a single game by a 49ers player since Tevin Coleman's four-touchdown performance in 2019. McCaffrey had never scored three touchdowns in a half but did so during the first half against the Cardinals.

Record setter

With 177 all-purpose yards and four total touchdowns, McCaffrey solidified his place in 49ers history. He became the first player in franchise history to tally over 100 all-purpose yards and one or more touchdowns in each game through Week 4. No NFL player has achieved that since DeMarco Murray's impressive run with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014.

McCaffrey has scored one or more touchdowns in 10 consecutive regular-season games, the longest streak of his career. The accomplishment is second only to the legendary Jerry Rice, who achieved a remarkable 13-game streak from 1986 to 1987.

McCaffrey is the first 49ers running back to score one or more rushing touchdowns in the first four weeks of the season and the first NFL running back to do so since Dalvin Cook in 2020.

Surpassing Jerry

McCaffrey is now in a league of his own after breaking a longtime 49ers record. Including the playoffs, he has scored one or more touchdowns in 13 consecutive games. The streak surpasses Rice's 12 straight games in 1987. McCaffrey's 13 consecutive games with a touchdown stands as the longest active streak in the NFL and ties him with Arian Foster and Emmitt Smith for the second-most consecutive games with a touchdown since 1990.

In conclusion

The San Francisco 49ers have no regrets about trading for McCaffrey, who has just started etching his name into the franchise's storied history.

I'll just leave this right here.

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