49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan finally has his workhorse/bell-cow running back, and he’s taken full advantage through three weeks. Christian McCaffrey is second in the NFL to Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson in yards from scrimmage to begin the year.
McCaffrey has the most rushing yards, 10+ yard carries, and forced missed tackles, per PFF. Furthermore, McCaffrey has 100 more yards after contact than Browns running back Jerome Ford, who is second in that stat.
McCaffrey has shown his impact early and often in every game, so it’s no surprise that he was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month for September.
If there’s a stat, McCaffrey is likely in the top three or five. And it’s not as if CMC’s benefiting from one long run. He has 60 carries and is averaging 5.9 yards a pop. Thirty-seven percent of his runs have gone for more than 15 yards, which is pretty wild, even if it’s only been three games.
McCaffrey hasn’t been the focal point of the Niners offense just yet. He’s caught 11 of his 12 targets, but it’s only for 70 yards. His usage in the 49ers passing game will be something to keep an eye on. We saw the team run a downfield route with McCaffrey last Thursday night against the Giants that looked like a would-be touchdown, but Christian was unable to haul in the pass.