• 48°

McCaffrey races into NFL history in Panthers’ down season

By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Christian McCaffrey has made a habit of writing down goals before every season.
One of those was becoming the third player in NFL history to record 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season after coming up just short last year. McCaffrey reached that milestone on Sunday, joining Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk in that elite club.
“It’s cool to accomplish one of the goals that you write down,” McCaffrey said. “But I can’t reiterate this enough, the most important statistic is winning. And it’s a shame when I look at guys like Luke Kuechly and Greg Olsen and they deserve better. There’s a lot to learn from this season.”
McCaffrey finished the season with 2,392 yards from scrimmage, which ranks third in NFL history behind Chris Johnson and Faulk.
But McCaffrey quickly turned the attention away from himself, saying he’s more focused on rectifying the team’s struggles. Carolina finished 5-11 after losing its final eight games, including a 42-10 drubbing by the Saints on Sunday, a prolonged stretch of miserable play that cost coach Ron Rivera his job with four games left.
“The individual statistics are great and they’re cool and there will be stuff that you can look back on and be proud of yourself,” McCaffrey said. “But we would love to get this thing fixed and get it fixed quick.”
McCaffrey needed 67 yards receiving to reach 1,000 for the season.
He hit that number late in the third quarter, then capped that drive with his 19th touchdown of the season.
The Panthers waited until McCaffrey was on the sideline before making the official announcement to a half-empty stadium. Those still remaining stood to applaud him while his teammates lined up to hug him on the sideline.
With little else to play for, the Panthers had set out to get McCaffrey the record.
“It’s no surprise that he’s our offense,” interim coach Perry Fewell said. “We just ran our offense. We definitely wanted him to obtain that record, so yeah, that was a big focal point for us.”
Questions remain about whether the Panthers have overused McCaffrey, particularly over the last two seasons. He’s received more touches than any player in the league during that span and he rarely leaves the field.
McCaffrey said his body “feels good,” although he is looking forward to a little rest.
McCaffrey’s frustration with the season was consistent with the mood in the locker room.
He called it a “whirlwind” with the Panthers losing former league MVP Cam Newton after two games, then rebounding to win five of the next six games under Kyle Allen to get to 5-3 before their winless second half of the year.
“It’s not what we wanted,” McCaffrey said. “It’s not what a lot of people wanted. But you win or you learn. Obviously, we lost a lot. There’s two ways you can go about it. You can mope about it and cry about it and whine, but that does no good. Like I say every week, win or lose, you’ve got to treat the next Monday and Tuesday as reflections and get back to the drawing board and correct your mistakes and capitalize on what you did well and go on from there.”
McCaffrey said he is looking forward to taking on more of a leadership role in his fourth season.
“Definitely,” McCaffrey said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The quicker we get those guys to realize that they’re also leaders, the faster we can start moving forward with this thing. Because we have a lot of guys who have earned their stripes. The biggest thing with us is to set a high standard in this offseason and go from there.”
___
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twtter.com/AP_NFL

Comments

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras

Education

Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week

Education

Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant

Education

Shoutouts

News

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

Education

COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight

Local

Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’

Education

West Rowan Middle eighth grader wins investment writing contest

Local

YSUP Rowan invites agencies to participate in youth-focused training

Nation/World

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

News

As demand drops, Cooper visits vaccine clinic to urge usage

News

NC lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

News

N.C. bill banning Down syndrome abortions nears floor vote

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 301st death from COVID-19

Coronavirus

N.C. lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

Local

Rowan Public Library joins initiative to help people with digital connectivity

Local

Mocksville to dissolve police department

Crime

Blotter: May 5

Local

Salisbury’s McElroy named top city, county communications professional in state

Local

Locals condemn use of force during 2019 traffic stop of Georgia woman

Kannapolis

Back and better than ever: Cannon Ballers kick off inaugural season in Atrium Health Ballpark