Christian McCaffrey the best all purpose RB in the NFL

Without Christian McCaffrey – the Carolina Panthers are a pretty average and far less dangerous team to watch on a Sunday. The Panthers need him…big time. The only RB who can compete with McCaffrey in the backfield is the Vikings RB, Dalvin Cook. McCaffrey has been absolutely outstanding – and can make plays on his own, even if their big men up front aren’t playing as good as they normally can. We can see what 23 year old RB has done with a good Oline this year, in particular. The Panthers offensive line has been pretty solid for the season – and seems to have even gotten a little better. McCaffrey is more than just an amazing scat back – he can run between the tackles, run to the outside, run hitch routes and screens. He has proven to have the ability to be able to take on a full season as a RB1 – and I don’t think many ever though he would be a top 5 RB in carries or rushing yards. But here we are – sitting at 3rd in carries, and 2nd in yards.
McCaffrey has also faced his share of loaded boxes – and has still produced a league leading 12 rushing TDs and 1167 rushing YDs. When he joined the team in 2017 – he immediately showed his great all around RB ability with 80 catches and 1086 yards from scrimmage. As we all know that durability is definitely important, and McCaffrey has been that as well. His explosion this season verifies something very good for Carolina and Carolina Panthers fans. The one season in 2017 when he didn’t have 1000 YDs in rushing – he only got around 7 carries/game and was really used as a gimmick and was doing the majority of his damage as a receiver. It is extremely hard and very difficult to consistently run for 100+ YDs in a game when defenses are stacking up the box – because they want to contain a dangerous weapon like Christian McCaffrey. Yet he has still been running for 97 YPG, and has six 100+ yard games this season, out of 12 games played. That is absolutely ridiculous – and if we include games for combined total yards – his number goes to 10 games of 100+ YDs.
The Panthers running game is all on Christian McCaffrey – as there is no other RB on the team that can hold the team together with his vision and calm to get to his holes. D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are legitimate targets for the Panthers QBs to get the ball to – but McCaffrey is the one who the team looks to move the ball when needed. Christian McCaffrey is the one defense are most concerned about on gameday – and is impressing everyone with his dual threat ability and 75 catches. McCaffrey has a different style than big name guys like Ezekiel Elliot or 11 TD rusher, Derrick Henry – they are both built on brute strength – RBs that blow a LB over and rip off 40+ yards to a TD. Christian is more of a take your ankles and juke out anyone else who’s in front of him. Dalvin Cook has that kind of finesse as well, but CMC leans to that kind of ball play even more – with his quickness he has had since his days playing in college at Stanford.
It is often thought by many in this generation is that in the modern era – a RB isn’t the one who is going to carry a team to the SuperBowl.
And that QBs do.
I disagree.
QBs are obviously a very large part of things – but having that lithe RB who can break a back and take off with the 15 yard run on 3rd and 2 when things are winding down or when you need that big 1st down is crucial. They are the oil to the machine.
McCaffrey blocks and catches as well as any back in the league – he is the most complete package. He has shown his full potential this year with 5 YPC, 16 combined TDs, and an awesome, league leading 1811 yards from scrimmage – we can say I full confidence, he is the best RB right now. He has been the heart and focal point of the Carolina Panthers team and rightfully doesnt look to be slowing down at any time soon.

2016 UNDERACHIEVING NFL TEAMS

Buccaneers Panthers Football

Personnel, including coaching changes made in the offseason.

· The results from last season compared to previous years.

· The season-ending momentum of the team, good or bad, and how it may impact this year’s team and making some smart wagers in the NFL this year.

 

With the above as a background, I present a thumbnail sketch of 5 teams, who I believe will outperform expectations in 2015.

 

Atlanta Falcons – HC Dan Quinn (2nd year)

Following a 14-4 SU, 11-7 ATS 2012 season, the Falcons nosedived under former HC Smith. The last 2 seasons Atlanta was a combined 10-22 SU, 14-18 ATS. When they lost the embarrassing finale to rival Carolina (34-3), it was the final straw for the Atlanta coaching career of HC Smith. Main culprit could be considered a defense that in the last 2 seasons allowed 27 PPG and 389 YPG. Enter former Seattle DC Dan Quinn to reverse the carnage. It helps that the Falcons will face one of the easiest schedules in the NFL this season and that the hire of new OC Kyle Shanahan will blend with returning QB Ryan to maintain the offensive excellence. Never easy to back a 1st year HC for improvement, but the work done by Quinn in Seattle speaks for itself. Fade the Falcon at your own risk!

 

Buffalo Bills – HC Rex Ryan

Now 1-2 on the season look for them to catch a nice run as they seem to have the offense and defense clicking.
New ownership in the form of Terry Pegula vows to return the Bills to the promised playoff land. With that comes the hire of former NY Jets HC, Rex Ryan. After 6 seasons with the Fly Boys (the 1st 2 of which resulted in conference championship appearances), Ryan’s Jets failed to crack the .500 mark in his final 4 seasons, culminating with a 4-12 SU, 6-10 ATS log last season. But, we all know that Ryan has a strong defensive pedigree (Jets never allowed more than 335 YPG L4Y) and that he brings intensity, passion and experience to the fray. That leaves the offensive side of the ball, where the Bills had stagnated with 21 PPG and no more than 343 YPG each of the last 3 years. Expect that to change with the addition in the off-season of skilled position players, such as QB Cassel, WR Harvin and RB McCoy. With the rest of the team buoyed by a December finish that included 2-1 SU, 3-0 ATS against the likes of Denver, Green Bay and New England, there is plenty to like about the Buffalo Bills this season, including the opportunity for a September home victory over perennial leader New England (without QB Brady).

 

Carolina Panthers – HC Ron Rivera (6th year)

It is not often that a sub .500 team makes it to the NFL playoffs. But now sitting at 1-2 after 3 weeks of action the Panthers need to wake up, the NFC South was so weak last year that the Panthers got their invitation to the post-season party by default and went to the Super Bowl behind Cam Newton.
HC Rivera has fielded solid defenses in the last 3 seasons with his Panthers never allowing more than 333 YPG. But what I really like about this group is their dominance at the point of attack, which has seen them out-rush their opposition 124-89 (2 years ago) and 131-107 (LY). With QB Newton maturing as an NFL signal caller, I see continued upside for the Panthers, who face a very manageable schedule to right the ship.

 

New Orleans Saints – HC Sean Payton (10th year)

The peripatetic New Orleans Saints have records of 14-4 SU, 7-9 SU, 12-6 SU, and 7-9 SU in each of the last 4 seasons. Time for the bounce in 2015! Issues from last season revolved around a defense that went from allowing 19/301 in 2013 to one allowing 26/384 last season. Other issues were the sudden demise of the once strong New Orleans’ Super Dome home. When the Saints trounced Green Bay (44-23) on October 26th, it ended a run of 19-0 SU, 17-2 ATS since the beginning of 2011 with current HC Payton at the helm (excluding 2012 with interim HC Vitt). When the Saints finished their home season on a 0-5 SU ATS slide, it certainly had to be the biggest turnaround in NFL history. Priority number 1 will be returning that home field dominance, when New Orleans plays a very manageable home schedule beginning with Tampa Bay, September 20th. A big reason for last year’s decline was multiple injuries on the defensive side of the ball. With many of those players returning and a draft day that focused on that side of the ball, look for DC Ryan to return this group to its dominance of 2013. The offensive pieces have changed a bit with the loss of receivers, Graham and Stills. But, there is still the offensive mastermind that is HC Payton and the excellence and experience that QB Brees brings to the table. Look for the bounce back by New Orleans this season, fueled by a far healthier defense and a return of their home field dominance.

 

NY Jets – HC Todd Bowles (2nd year)

This is a risky call, considering the Jets went 8-8 SU, 6-10 ATS last season and let go of respected HC Ryan at its conclusion. Enter 1st year HC Todd Bowles and an entirely new coaching staff. That includes OC Chan Gailey, who must work with QBs, Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick, to improve an offense that has averaged 18 PPG 3 consecutive seasons. But, any offense who out-rushes their opponents 142/4.5 to 93/3.8 deserves far better than 4-12 SU. Along with defensive improvement that is anticipated with big name off-season acquisitions and a solid defensive draft, these NY Jets will not surprise if they are one of the biggest turnaround teams in the NFL this season.
Written by Joe Gavazzi for VegasTopDogs.com

NFL Marquee Football Matchups

Divisional Playoffs - Denver Broncos v New England Patriots

NFL

San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints – The Saints and 49ers have been the class of the NFC over the past couple of seasons, but San Francisco has won their last two against New Orleans, including last season at the Superdome. The Saints are a three-point NFL betting favorite at home.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos – The 9-0 Chiefs head to Denver, where they have lost three of their last five trips, but head coach Andy Reid was 13-1 in Philadelphia after a bye week. This AFC West showdown will light up Sunday night, when the Broncos will be 7.5-point favorites in the sportsbook.

New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers MNF – The Panthers have won five in a row, but they have lost three of their last five against the Patriots, including the Super Bowl in 2004. Carolina should be a slight home favorite on Monday night.

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