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MikeT14

Christian McCaffrey possibly to miss a couple weeks (again)

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On 11/14/2020 at 2:02 PM, AlexGreen#20 said:

Why do you think he moves the needle that much? You're 0-3 with him playing this year and 3-3 without him playing this year. You were 5-11 last year with him playing all 16 games. 

This doesn't make any sense.  Running back is the only position that people seem to hold to this high standard. It suggests that there is any one position (QB aside) that can have one player 'move the needle'.  

Larry Fitzgerald played for countless terrible Cardinals teams.  So did Calvin Johnson.  So has Hopkins, such as the year Watson tore his ACL.  Vikings went 5-11 and 6-10 in 2000 and 2001 respectively with Moss in the middle of his dominant run.  Yet how outrageous would it be to you if I suggested you don't pay those guys because they clearly "don't move the needle"?  And that's just me looking at receivers.  This is a team game, man.  One player, quarterback aside, is not going to move the needle that much if his overall team is bad.  And the Panthers are bad.  Do you think there is another non-QB in the league that you could have swapped out for Christian McCaffrey last year and it would have resulted in more than 5 wins for the Panthers?  There is no one non-QB who can make a bad team great.  Hundreds among hundreds of great players at all positions have played for bad teams.

Hell, more than anything, we've seen plenty of offensive lineman on awful teams.  Case in point, Joe Thomas.  And yet, would you suggest a team shouldn't sign a left tackle long-term?   It ain't like RBs are making LT or WR money either. 

Second, it's back to actually looking at the situation and not everything at face value.  For example:

1) Panthers average 26 PPG in games Christian McCaffrey has played in.  Panthers average 22 PPG in games he hasn't played in.  

2) Look at the teams we played.  In those games we won, we played the Cardinals at home (and they lost to the Lions the week before), the bad Chargers in Herbert's second game, before he started really heating up, and a terrible Falcons team.  In the games we had McCaffrey, we played the Raiders (probably on same level as Cardinals), the loaded Bucs, and the loaded Chiefs.  Again, if you were actually looking at the situation and not just taking everything at face value, then I don't see how you can possibly think it's reasonable to compare the games we won without McCaffrey to the games we didn't.  We played middling to bad competition and went on a nice run.  With McCaffrey, we played good to great teams, and came close to winning all 3 times.  And guess who scored a combined 6 touchdowns in those games.

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If you're going to target somebody 142 times, they need to do better than 7.1 yards/target. That's really mediocre production per target. The issue is that McCaffrey touched the ball 431 times last year between targets, throws, and runs. That's QB volume of touches producing only 2395 yards. That's terrible. That's 5.6 yards per touch. There were 588 non-McCaffrey plays last year, they went for 3566 yards, good for 6.1 yards per "touch". Just as a comparison, Aaron Jones had 5.1 yards per touch last year. But he only took up 304 touches. That left the rest of the Packers offense with 670 touches and 4254 yards, or 6.4 yards per "touch". And that isn't to say that the non-McCaffrey plays were efficient because they're not, but the offense had it's head up its *** if it ever thought that 400 touches for a RB was an efficient method of offense. RBs by their nature are not efficient. They should be kept more to the back. The production that he's at right now where he's getting about 6 targets per game is a much healthier and sustainable approach to this offense.

Except what you are talking about isn't a Christian McCaffrey problem.  It was a function of a terrible QB, terrible OC, and terrible OL.  He only had 326 touches (similar to the 304 that you said is fine) in 2018 and almost had 2,000 YFS.  By comparison, Aaron Jones hasn't eclipsed 1600 yet, but that's okay.  Because his QB is Aaron Rodgers, not Kyle Allen.  I'm really not quite sure what you think the 2019 Panthers offense would have done with less McCaffrey touches.  Unless you think it would have improved by asking Kyle Allen to push the ball downfield more, which I'd definitely be interested in reading about, then I'm not sure how that is a negative on McCaffrey.  Like, yea, a bad offense did bad offense things such as not getting great production per target out of a RB.  It doesn't mean things would have gotten better by limiting his role in the game-plan.  

This year alone, albeit in only 3 games, he was at 7.8 yards per target.  Kamara's is 8.1 this year (for reference, his was 5.5 last year).  

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And you would be correct to make the counter argument that that's coaching, but if he isn't going to get that volume of touches, what is his contract worth? And the argument that the Panthers don't have any other contracts needing to be paid doesn't make the signing better. 

Again, he had what you considered an appropriate amount of touches in 2018 and still had almost 2,000 YFS and 13 touchdowns.  So I'm really not sure what you mean here.  McCaffrey doesn't need an absurd amount of touches to be worth his contract.  We could easily get him to around 280-300 touches and he'd still be extremely productive, as we have seen.  

Edited by iknowcool

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