Christian McCaffrey had the opportunity to make NFL history on Sunday during the 49ers’ dominant Week 10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But those efforts failed at EverBank Stadium. Literally, he’s only missing a few meters.
The All-Pro running back finished Sunday’s game without a touchdown for the first time since Week 13 of last season, failing to extend his touchdown streak to an NFL record 18 games. Had he found the end zone in North Florida, he would have become the first player in league history to score a touchdown from scrimmage in 18 consecutive games.
After the game, a resounding 34-3 victory, McCaffrey had a hilarious self-assessment of his performance and his inability to keep the streak alive.
“I suck,” he joked, as the room filled with laughter. “Everyone else on the team scored except me.”
On San Francisco’s penultimate drive, with McCaffrey scoreless and holding a comfortable 31-point lead, coach Kyle Shanahan kept the star in the game to give him a chance to break the record.
From first-and-goal to fourth-and-goal, McCaffrey was targeted each time by backup quarterback Sam Darnold, but an incomplete pass on the final attempt ended those hopes.
McCaffrey – and the rest of the 49ers – were disappointed they weren’t able to set the record, but the most important goal of the day was accomplished.
“No, it means a lot to me that they’re keeping me at the end of the game and trying to set this record for me,” McCaffrey said. “But hey, I’m going to have a huge victory.”
After the game, Shanahan explained his decision to keep McCaffrey in the game.
“I mean, 18 games in a row is a big record, so if we had a chance to do it, I was going to do it for him,” he said. “It’s scary; the last thing I want to do is hurt him. But it was about time for Elijah (Mitchell) to run with the ball like that to get us there. Brock (Purdy) and Ronnie (Bell) made a huge third down that gave us a chance.
“Once we got close, we told him to stay loose because we were going to try. We got close, we wish we could have done it for him, but it’s a pretty big accomplishment to do it for 17 games consecutive.”
All good things must come to an end, it seems. But for the sake of the 49ers, hopefully winning is not one of them.