Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey Playing for More Than Just Football

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has been one of the best rookies in the NFL.

McCaffrey filled up the stat sheet in the 31-24 win against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, rushing for 63 yards on 12 carries and catching six passes for 73 yards and a touchdown.

On the year he leads all rookies with 73 catches and five touchdown receptions. He became the first rookie running back in NFL history with at least 70 receptions and five touchdown catches in a season.

But McCaffrey isn’t just dominating on the field, but off it as well. He’s fueled by his Christian faith, looking to honor God on every play.

“I think it’s a sin not to use my abilities to the fullest, and part of that is giving all I have on every single play,” McCaffrey said to the Washington Post in 2015. But also, “I play for my teammates. Not that I don’t want to let them down, but that I want to be great for them, because they’ve sacrificed so much.”

Even though he is just beginning his professional career, McCaffrey says he wants to be remembered for something more than just the game of football.

“So when you see me take the field, know that I’m playing for more than just football. I have a strong faith in God,” McCaffrey said to Faithwire in 2016. “I don’t think He’s looking down on me and hoping that I score touchdowns. Nah, He just wants to see that I did my absolute best on that particular day.”

The Carolina Panthers are 10-4 on the year and sit as the fifth seed in the NFC playoff picture. The Panthers will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.