Santa Clara – Christian McCaffrey scored a career-high four touchdowns and dominated on offense all day. The 49ers continued their winnings ways to remain one of two undefeated teams left in the NFL. Brock Purdy didn’t let McCaffrey enjoy the spotlight alone, he scrambled for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter behind an unstoppable San Francisco defense.
The Niners beat the Arizona Cardinals 35-16 to hold the best record in the league along with the Philadelphia Eagles. McCaffrey rushed for 106 yards with 20 attempts and scored three touchdowns. He also had seven receptions for 71 yards and one touchdown. His 6-yard touchdown reception marked his 1st of the season and the 23rd of his career. McCaffrey’s 4 touchdowns mark a career-high and the most touchdowns recorded in a single game by a 49ers player since RB Tevin Coleman in 2019 [4 TDs vs. Car. (10/27/19)].
“He’s the same to me as he always is,” San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan said on McCaffrey. “Just there was space out there and [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] being down, [WR] Deebo [Samuel] kind of not practicing all week, gave him probably a few more opportunities, didn’t have to split it as much. Then when they’re playing the zone and stuff, you never know when it’s going to go to the back. But a lot of those, he’s last in the progression and he’s a hell of a checkdown option, so worked out very well.
Christian’s so awesome, he helps us win every time he’s out there. But when you got a guy who can do everything, you can always have unbelievable stats.”
The 49ers have started the regular season 4-0 for the first time since 2019 and for the 5th time in franchise history. San Francisco has won 3-consecutive regular season games against the Arizona Cardinals [W, 38-10 at Arz. (Mexico City) (11/21/22); W, 38-13 vs. Arz. (1/8/23)]. The 49ers have won 8-consecutive regular season games at Levi’s Stadium dating back to Week 10 of the 2022 season.
“Yeah, he’s a freak,” Purdy said of McCaffrey. “He does everything for us. Obviously, he can run the ball, can run routes out of the backfield, can line up as a receiver and run routes. He does everything, man. So, we’re thankful for him. He’s a dog. He takes some hits, but man, he just keeps going and all you’ve got to do is get the ball to that guy in space and he does the rest. So, very thankful to be playing with him.”
Purdy completed 20 of his 21 passing attempts for 283 yards and one touchdown with a passer rating of 134.6 to go along with a 1-yd. rushing TD. Purdy’s 95.2% completion percentage is the highest single-game completion percentage in franchise history. With today’s win, Purdy has improved to 9-0 in the regular season in his career, the third-most consecutive wins by a quarterback to begin a career since 1970.
With 30 points in Week 1 at Pit. (9/10/23), 30 points Week 2 at LAR (9/17/23), 30 points Week 3 vs. NYG (9/21/23) and 35 points vs. Arz. (10/1/23), San Francisco have scored 30-or-more points in each of the first 4 games of a season for the first time in franchise history.
The 49ers offense scored a TD on all 5 trips to the red zone (4 rushing, 1 passing). It marks the most red zone TDs in a single game by the team since 9/21/17 (5 TDs on 6 trips to the red zone vs. LAR) and the most red zone TDs with a 100% TD percentage in a single game by the 49ers since 10/27/13 (5 TDs on 5 trips to the red zone at Jax.).
“I think it’s pretty instinctual,” McCaffrey said of his game today. “I love football, you can just go out there and be completely free. Obviously, you have an assignment to do, track and reads, but after that it’s just let it flow and play with instincts.”
McCaffrey’s 3 rushing touchdowns give him6 on the season and 44 in his career. His 4 touchdowns vs. Arizona (10/1/23) marked his 10th consecutive regular season game with 1-or-more TDs, which is the longest streak of his career and the 2nd most consecutive regular season games with 1-or-more TDs by a 49ers player since WR Jerry Rice [13 games (Week 16, 1986 – Week 16, 1987)].
Including the postseason, McCaffrey has scored 1-or-more TDs in 13-consecutive games, which is the longest active streak of any NFL player and the longest streak by a member of the 49ers in franchise history McCaffrey’s 13-consecutive games with a TD also ties former NFL RBs Arian Foster and Emmitt Smith for the 2nd most consecutive games with 1-or-more TDs in the NFL since at least 1990.
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