After starting last season at 3-4, the San Francisco 49ers dramatically turned things around, and a big reason why was running back Christian McCaffrey.
They traded for the dual-threat back in October, and he seemingly remade their offense into one that was very dangerous.
49ers insider David Lombardi, who covers the team for The Athletic, hinted that they’re looking for another running back to complement McCaffrey who can also catch passes out of the backfield, and he said that McCaffrey’s ability to do both is what transformed their offense.
Yup — CMC success has essentially added another must-have attribute to 49ers RB prototype. Has to be a complete contributor in both run and receiving games. So as I said earlier today, be ready for SF to continue spending at RB — complete players rarely come cheap https://t.co/4CPTmdNRiS
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) June 5, 2023
Early in the season, San Francisco’s offense was somewhat anemic, especially after running back Elijah Mitchell, their previous starter, went down with a knee injury in Week 1.
Without a threat in their backfield, they were easy to defend, and it seemed to affect their passing game.
But McCaffrey added two new dimensions to their offense by not only giving them a legitimate rushing threat, but also someone who could sneak forward and catch passes and turn them into additional yardage.
In 11 games with them, he finished with 746 rushing yards, 464 receiving yards, and 10 total touchdowns.
He was one of the NFL’s leaders in yards after the catch, which has also made him seemingly tailor-fit for the Niners.
McCaffrey could be even more effective in 2023, given that he will have a full offseason and training camp with them.
Of course, San Francisco has a quarterback controversy, but once that gets sorted out, they should be one of the front-running contenders for the Super Bowl championship.NEXT: Patrick Willis Reveals His Expectations For 49ers' Defense This Season