CMC to the SF 49ers changes the NFC

The San Francisco 49ers shook up the NFC with a big time trade. The Niners picked up a career 7,272 total yards RB, Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers got 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rd picks in the 2023 draft, and a 5th in 2024. Making a move like this in the NFC immediately changes the horizon.  The Eagles were looking like, and still are, based off of what they’ve been putting on the field, I would think it’s fair to say that they are still the favorite in the NFC. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some teams that can easily slip in there. The Niners have been looked at as a defensive lead team this season giving up just 14.8 points per game and with their defense they have been sitting at just a 3-3 record as of this article. The offense, although with its share of very talented players, just has not been what I think that San Francisco fans were hoping for. And that is what they needed to improve on, and with this trade that is what they went and did. 

There are some critics of the trade thinking that the Niners gave up far too much for a running back who has had his share of injury problems. But to me this looks more like a win-win trade in my opinion. Carolina is a roaring tire fire and needs some draft capital to really start rebuilding that team. San Francisco has a team currently that can compete and make some noise in the NFC and they have depth, so right now, I don’t think that drafting is their number one priority – they have a team that just got better and will be the VegasTopDogs favorite in the NFC. 

McCaffrey finds himself now in a much different position than he has ever been in before in his career. Now granted, he has missed a whopping 23 games since 2020 – but when you’re a player who literally carries the team on your back and he touches the ball on what seems to be 80% of snaps there’s a higher chance of being hurt. Now McCaffrey is on a team where there’s a lot of talent around them he’s not going to have to carry as much of the load as he was. In Carolina, there really wasn’t a whole lot of support, the QB situation was not good, there was not a good TE situation, their offensive line was terrible, he’s going to fit in and be just fine in San Francisco. He’s not the only weapon the Niners have which will be a good thing for the 26 yr old RB.

He is a generational RB, who put up 1000+ yards rushing in 2018 and 2019 along with 1,872 receiving yards in that time frame as well, to go along with his 32 total touchdowns. He has put out jaw dropping performances with 7 games of 100 yards or more rushing, along with 35 or more receiving. He has also had 17 games of 70 or more receiving, and some think this guy isn’t worth these picks?
That’s crazy talk to me. 
Who are the Niners going to get better than him in that draft? 
I’ll tell you. 
Nobody.

This is a player that was looked at as the ultimate weapon for several years, his ability to hit the hole and take off with explosive speed was outstanding. Adding on top of that his exceptional hands and his ability to run routes. People need to remember that he caught 100 or more receptions twice and this is a RB, this isn’t a WR1. He won’t be used like that in San Fran, which should help him last longer and quite honestly, he could be even more effective.  He won’t be forced to be the focal point of the offense now with the likes of Deebo, along with an improving Brandon Aiyuk. And of course, we can’t forget about their Pro Bowl tight end Greg Kittle and the fact that San Francisco finds ways to get their running backs in the best positions they can be. Undrafted RB, Jeff Wilson ran for 4.8+ YPC in 2 of the last 3 seasons, journeyman Matt Breida ran for 5.0 YPC avg in his 3 years in San Fran – I certainly think Christian McCaffrey will be more than fine in their running scheme. 

The NFC Conference looks a lot different now with their SuperBowl Odds. San Francisco was already looked at as a likely playoff team with a stud defense, and now just adding more firepower to their offense, they certainly have the appearance of a team that legitimately can go to the Bowl this year. This trade means the Niners are all in for a ring this season. I doubt the 49ers will end up regretting this. If you are a team that feels you have what it takes to be a champion you have to take some risks, like the great hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said – “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

2022 NFL Super Bowl Preview

This year’s Super Bowl is a matchup of incredible anticipation. The golden child, which is the Los Angeles Rams based on their huge offseason signings & Hollywood vibes vs the oddball kid but nobody saw coming. The Rams we’re a team destined for greatness this year. Having some top notch WRs and then getting 33 year old Matt Stafford as their field general. The Bengals on the other hand, were coming off of a 4 win season, have a very young team, and haven’t gotten past the NFL wildcard round of the playoffs since 1990. Cincinnati was not a favorite to come out of the AFC with teams like Buffalo and Kansas City standing in their way. 
But here we are. 
This is going to be a good one. We’re going to take a look at some of the key positions, and which team hold the advantage. 

QB; Cincinnati Bengals. 
I think the vast majority of NFL fans I’ve always understood that Matt Stafford was a stud. He was stuck on a dismal Detroit Lions team for 12 long seasons. Then he went to the Los Angeles Rams and had a phenomenal season with 41 TDs, 4886 YDs, including the most TD passes he has thrown since 2011. Then we have Joe Burrow, the 25-year old, number one pick in 2020. Having a season-ending injury last year, after having what was looking like what was going to be a very successful rookie campaign. And then this year, he bounced back with a fantastic year – taking a team that was winning an average of 5 games a year for the previous 5 years, to the Superbowl. Burrow quietly has a better interception rate, passing completion and higher QB rating than Stafford as well – he wins this matchup by a link.

RB; Cincinnati Bengals. 
Neither team is known for any exceptional running back play, both teams turn out roughly a steady 4 yards per carry. 
But the biggest difference is the ability for the running game to find the end zone. Which at the end of the day is going to be a huge advantage for Cincinnati. The Rams only put the ball in the end zone by the ground, 10 times on the whole year. Cincinnati was able to break the plane 16 times. Now granted, the Rams have not had the healthiest of back fields. But that also has to come into play. Give me 1200 yard rusher, Joe Mixon and his 13 TDs on the ground, any day, over what the Rams have in their backfield. 

WR; Cincinnati Bengals. 
This is one of the toughest to review, both teams are very talented at the wide receiver position. The Rams have the 1900+ YD WR in Cooper Kupp, that alone, is very hard to compete with, then on top of that, they also have 9 year veteran, Odell Beckham, who has been revitalized in Los Angeles. But before we give this victory to Los Angeles let’s take a look at Cincinnati. 21 yr old Jamarr Chase has been beyond expectations lighting up the NFL for 1455 YDs & 13 TDs this year. Then we also have 23 year old Tee Higgins who has been excellent in his first 2 years and now has a lethal counterpart in Chase, between the 2 of them alone they have 2500+ yards and 19 touchdowns. The key is the 3rd WR – slot Tyler Boyd, a secret weapon who also has the ability to break off a big play and also runs great routes across the middle of the field. Boyd has had 13 games of 4 or more catches this year you can certainly be a huge X Factor. 

OLINE; Los Angeles Rams
This one is one of the easier ones to reveal. Cincinnati has been notoriously bad with keeping Burrow standing upright. 
Joe sadly has been put to the dirt 51 times this year, an astonishing 8.9% sack percentage. Stafford, on the other hand, has been protected very well.  Having only been sacked 30 times for a measly 4.8% sack percentage. A QB with the opportunity to stand in the pocket and deliver, obviously has a very big advantage. 

DLINE; Cincinnati Bengals. 
Now hear me out before all of the hate comes at me. Yes, of course, I know that Aaron Donald plays for the Rams.  Aaron Donald is an easy walk in Hall of Famer when he retires, and quite honestly, one of the most difficult DTs to handle that I’ve ever seen. But after him on the defensive front the Rams are honestly pretty average. Cincinnati on the other hand, has three guys across that front that can cause a problem. The number one guy Trey Hendrickson at DE has been vicious on QBs this year and then on the other end they have Sam Hubbard who has also been a problem.  And then they have underrated Larry Ogunjobi at DT who also has 49 tackles and 7 sacks on the year. Cincinnati quietly has 36 sacks for their front line – opposed to 22 sacks to the front line of Los Angeles. 

LBs; Los Angeles Rams. 
This is another spot where the Rams truly excel. 
Leonard Floyd has been outstanding this year at the linebacker position with 9.5 sacks and 18 QB hits. Then they added 32 year old future hall-of-famer Von Miller, and he came in and tossed in 5 sacks in 8 games. In the short amount of time Miller has been with Los Angeles he also is 2nd on the team for TFL. 

SECONDARY; Los Angeles Rams. 
The Rams secondary has been tough as nails this year with 19 interceptions. Between Jalen Ramsey and Taylor Rapp they are very hard to beat in the air. Ramsey has 16 pases defended, and also has a forced fumble. Astonishingly, he also is 3rd on the team with 9 tackles for loss. Taylor Rapp is second on the team with 94 tackles and they also have Jordan Fuller at safety with a whopping 113. The Bengals truly don’t have anybody who competes with their secondary. 

So there you have it whether you agree, disagree, or have different views – make up your own mind. One thing but I think we can all agree on, is the game is going to be a lot of fun to watch. There is starpower all over the field, we have the favorite child in the Rams, and we have the unexpected love child in the Bengals. 
Let’s get ready to enjoy the show.