Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey takes another step into the NFL history books
During the Week 17 matchup against their division rivals, the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey became just the third player in NFL history to have 1,500 rushing yards and 1,500 receiving yards in their first two seasons. He joins Herschel Walker and Alvin Kamara who reached the milestone earlier this season.
Prior to today’s matchup, McCaffrey had 1,515 rushing yards and 1,496 receiving yards. The bulk of McCaffrey’s rushing yards came this season, through 16 weeks he had 1,080 yards, more than double last year’s 435 yards on the ground. His receiving stats were closer, but they did improve in his sophomore season — he had 845 receiving yards this year through 16 weeks, up from 671 last year.
Kamara was inactive in the Week 17 game between the two, but he still managed to reach 1,611 yards on the ground and 1,535 yards through the air in his first two seasons. Walker had 1,628 rushing yards and 1,552 receiving yards in his first two seasons. Walker’s sophomore season was 1987, no one had reached the milestone since until Kamara and McCaffrey.
McCaffrey has been one of the biggest positives in a difficult Panthers season. Through 16 weeks, the Panthers had a record of 6-9. They had been 6-2, but had lost seven straight games and lost quarterback Cam Newton to a shoulder injury.
Newton was shut down by Carolina after Week 15, his arm strength had noticeably diminished over the season and the organization chose not to risk further injury after tumbling down the NFC South standings.
The Panthers ended the season on as high of a note as possible, McCaffrey reached this milestone, and they led the Saints 30-3 after three quarters.