Christian McCaffrey throws a 34-yard touchdown to Brandon Aiyuk

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Christian McCaffrey has been a member of the Carolina Panthers for less than two weeks, but he’s already making an impact on the field. Strangely, his first touchdown didn’t come on the ground, nor was it a touchdown take.

Instead, with CMC still not knowing Kyle Shanahan’s full playbook, they involved their latest acquisition in a very unique way.

Incredibly, McCaffrey was asked to throw the ball at a gimmick after catching a pass from Jimmy Garoppolo behind the line of scrimmage, but he managed. McCaffrey was able to find a wide-open Brandon Aiyuk in the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown pass to put the San Francisco 49ers on the scoreboard.

It was a big touchdown to help start the 49ers’ score, tying the Rams at 7-7 in the second quarter, but it clearly took the defense by surprise.

Related: 2022 NFL Defense Rankings

Christian McCaffrey’s 2nd career TD pass went a long way

McCaffrey came into the game with three previous pass attempts, but actually has a passing touchdown to his name (now two) when he had a 50-yard strike in 2018 with Carolina.

As highlighted by Next Gen Stats, the CMC throw was the longest distance a running back had covered since 2016, which covered 37.2 meters in the air. In other words, McCaffrey has a bit of an arm on him. While the impressive display of skill is cool, we’re still waiting for his first ground score with San Francisco.

Credit to the 49ers for realizing the Rams would likely give the All-Pro running back serious consideration, making the pass to Aiyuk the perfect play call. We’ll see what Coach Shanahan has up his sleeves next.

Related: 2022 NFL Power Rankings


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