The 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey for a boatload of draft picks in October. Usually, a running back does not attract this much trade value, but Mccaffrey is a different story. Based on how the season has gone so far, this move was very, very worth it.
Since McCaffrey was traded to the 49ers, he has had some great numbers. In his 3 games started, he averages 110.7 total yards per game and has 4 total touchdowns. He has added a dynamic to this 49ers offense that they have not had all year. Deebo, Mitchell, and Kittle have missed time, and Aiyuk is good but not a number 1 option. Running back Jeff Wilson was solid for them in his time as the starter, but he was moved to Miami after the CMC trade. Christian is changing this offense every moment. The 49ers traded for McCaffrey for this exact reason, and he has surpassed all expectations. Since McCaffrey has come on the scene, San Francisco’s numbers have gone sky-high.
Prior to trading for him, they averaged 20.8 points per game, 340.2 yards per game, and converted 41% of third downs. After the trade, they are averaging 28.5 PPG, 396.5 YPG, and a 55% TDCR. The 49ers seem to have made the right move, even if they lost a lot of draft picks. Adding him has even made Jimmy Garoppolo look good. Garoppolo has 9 touchdowns to 2 turnovers since Christian was added to the squad. CMC has made this offense more efficient and explosive, which only makes sense in a Kyle Shanahan scheme.
Shanahan knows exactly how to use every player in this offense and that only benefits McCaffrey. Kyle has been the most creative play-caller in the league ever since he was in Atlanta and having this many weapons really help showcase this skill. I can only see this offense continue to improve as Christian gets more comfortable in the offense and the other skill position guys learn how to play off of him.
With their offense being as great as it is and the defense being at or near the top of every statistical category, the 49ers are now clear Super Bowl contenders. The NFC is already a weak conference, so they were near the top prior to the trade but adding this dynamic weapon just solidifies their case. Nick Bosa & Fred Warner on the defense that can play off of a great run and play action offense can lead this team to an appearance in the big game. Even last year without Christian McCaffrey and some injuries they were in the NFC Championship. It is clear that the 49ers are the NFC Super Bowl favorites. While there are some great teams in the NFC, I don’t think any can compete with this complete 49ers roster.
There have not been as many teams that are as great on both sides of the ball as the 49ers are in recent history. The last team that comes to mind is the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams last year had flaws in the run game so they were not as “perfect” as San Francisco. If the 49ers can stay healthy, I see nobody getting in their way from competing for a ring in Glendale.
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