On Sunday, November 13, Christian McCaffrey will not only have his third game with the San Francisco 49ers, but he’ll have his first Sunday Night Football prime time game with his newest team when the Los Angeles Chargers come to Santa Clara.
McCaffrey took a week off from showing the rest of his dynamic skill set in the San Francisco offense as he and the 49ers were on their bye week on November 6. But nearly three weeks after the 49ers delivered the blockbuster move to land “Run CMC,” there are NFL legends still gushing over the move.
One of them spoke exclusively with Heavy NFL senior reporter Matt Lombardo: Super Bowl 32 Most Valuable Player and 2017 NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis.
‘T.D’ Breaks Down McCaffrey Fit
Lombardo asked what kind of a difference maker McCaffrey really is for the 49ers offense.
“Oh, he’s huge because he feels a void between you know, your passing game and your running game,” Davis explained. “You know what I’m saying. So that’s the running game is, strictly, a guy who runs to stretches out with somebody who can run the backfield and then you obviously have the receivers that they’re running out of [the] field. But when you can have somebody who was that, who is who asked? Is as dynamic as Christian we saw the other day where he’s going past half back passes for touchdowns. His route running is probably the best out there when it comes to running backs. Him and maybe Alvin Kamara run. They run really good routes.”
McCaffrey nearly doubled his snaps from his Week 7 49ers debut in the 31-14 rout of the Los Angeles Rams — taking in 43 offensive plays in the Week 8 victory compared to the 22 he was given in the 44-23 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. His increase in snaps eventually led to the rare hat trick of throwing, receiving and rushing for a touchdown that culminated in earning NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Davis not only gushed about the 49ers adding McCaffrey, but how head coach Kyle Shanahan will utilize him moving forward.
“So to have him in a in your toolbox, if you’re Kyle Shanahan, man, he’s gonna put him in a lot of situations where he’s gonna be gonna make plays,” Davis said. “So I think that’s a huge difference for the 49ers, makes them, you know, one of the favorites I believe to come out of the NFC West. And I think it also puts it up there and overall.”
Davis joined another Hall of Famer in praising the 49ers in getting McCaffrey: His former Broncos teammate Shannon Sharpe.
Backfield Could get Bolstered Some More
Just when it looked like the 49ers were already improved in the backfield with “Run CMC” back there, the 49ers could be even more restrengthened just in time for the SNF tilt with the Chargers.
The 49ers opened up the practice window for last season’s leading rusher Elijah Mitchell on Monday, November 7. Mitchell emerged as a surprise starter and nearly eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark during the 49ers’ run to the NFC title game. He had been nursing a sprained MCL.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle said on Monday that the 49ers “appear poised to debut a potentially formidable rushing tandem.”