Christian McCaffrey won’t win MVP, but he should

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Christian McCaffrey helped the Carolina Panthers get back in the win column on Sunday. Though he won’t win NFL MVP, he probably should. He’s been great.

After getting embarrassed on the road in Santa Clara last week by the San Francisco 49ers, the Carolina Panthers bounced back with a strong home win vs. the Tennessee Titans, 30-20. Carolina improves to 5-3 on the year, while the Titans stumbled to 4-5. The driving force for Carolina’s success was once again running back Christian McCaffrey, delivering another MVP performance.

McCaffrey had 24 carries for 146 yards and two rushing touchdowns, averaging 6.1 yards per carry and a long of 58 yards. He also had three catches for 20 yards out of the Carolina backfield for a third touchdown on the afternoon. McCaffrey was responsible for three of Carolina’s four trips to pay dirt. No, he won’t win NFL MVP, but he probably should. He’s been incredible.

Not only is he killing it for your fantasy football team, McCaffrey is doing everything in his power to keep the Panthers alive in the NFC playoff race, as it looks like starting quarterback Cam Newton won’t be coming back anytime soon. Kyle Allen has filled in marvelously for the injured Newton, but we know that McCaffrey is the biggest reason behind the Panther’s offensive success in 2019.

What hurts McCaffrey in the NFL MVP discussion is two-fold: The position he plays and that the Panthers are not going to win the NFC South this year. Being a running back hurts his chances, as he’d have to rush for over 2,000 yards to realistically be in the MVP conversation. And though the Panthers have played well in their first eight games, they’re not catching the New Orleans Saints.

So where does that leave McCaffrey and the Panthers at this point? Well, he can be named First-Team All-Pro in his third season out of Stanford University. Carolina is totally in the mix for one of the two Wild Card spots in the NFC. It’ll be tough sledding for Carolina to get in, but if there’s a will there’s a way, especially if you can give the rock to McCaffrey close to 30 times in a ball game.

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Beating Tennessee isn’t a typically worth writing home about. The Titans have been an offensive mess for most of the season. While Ryan Tannehill has brought competence to the quarterbacking position over Marcus Mariota, there’s next to no chance that the Titans will be playing in January. If Carolina is, it will be because of an MVP-caliber season out of their best player in McCaffrey.

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