There Is A Reason Why Christian McCaffrey Blew Up Against Bucs Last Season

November 16th, 2023

Mixed bag facing Bucs.

Since Bucs coach Todd Bowles first arrived in Tampa Bay in 2019 as a defensive coordinator, he and his defense have had really good luck bottling up one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the game, Christian McCaffrey.

Until last year.

Bowles had incredible good fortune devising defenses to control CMC when the Stanford product was with the Stinking Panthers. In three games against the Bucs with Bowles as the defensive coordinator, CMC never got more than 59 yards rushing and no more than 29 yards receiving.

Last year, CMC was traded to the 49ers. There, he went crazy with 119 yards rushing with a touchdown against the Bucs, and 34 yards receiving in a 35-7 rout.

So what changed with CMC going from wearing the Carolina blue to the 49ers cherry red and gold?

Basically, Bowles said the Bucs could focus on stopping CMC more when he was with Carolina because there were only a couple of other players to worry about. The 49ers have more weapons..

“They’ve got about five or six of them over there in ‘San Fran’ and they move [McCaffrey] around a lot and they do a lot more with him, as well as with the other guys.

“They make it difficult to keep tabs on him. I think that’s the difference from when he’s in ‘San Fran’ from when he was in Carolina.”

Bowles isn’t joking. The 49ers even have backups who can hurt defenses. Take fullback/tight end Kyle Juszczyk for example. While he has started eight games, he’s basically George Kittle’s backup.

Juszczyk would otherwise be a starting tight end for at least half the league if he wasn’t with the 49ers. He’s that good.

Even in the backfield San Francisco has options besides CMC. It’s not unusual to see Deebo Samuel line up there, and Juszczyk and others.

So yeah, with Carolina, Bowles only had to worry about who, CMC, Robbie Anderson and D.J. Moore? With San Francisco, Bowles has to contain a lot more.

Tough task.

21 Responses to “There Is A Reason Why Christian McCaffrey Blew Up Against Bucs Last Season”

  1. adam from ny Says:

    yeah when CMC was with carolina i remember most of the time we basically shut him down…with bowles and even pre-bowles…

    i mean we shut the dude down so much with carolina, i thought he kinda sucked…even though he clearly doesn’t

  2. rrsrq Says:

    I also thought it was really about LVD not getting the same respect as Luke Keuckly at the LB position. There was always that challenge too.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Might have something to do with the guys he has blocking for him in San Fran too. Just a thought …

  4. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    3 other teams have figured out how to stop the 49ers this year. FIGURE IT OUT! Stop with the excuses 3 days before game day.

  5. HC Grover Says:

    San Francissies are 12 point faves. Up from 11. I think Bucs only lose by 10. A late mercy score possible to beat the spread.

  6. bob in valrico Says:

    Agree with DR,
    If you watch teams like 49′ ers and eagles runs, its often like the red sea parting
    with huge lanes opening up for a big gain. we rarely use a fullback/h back to open up holes. McCaffrey is a great back, but what running back wouldn’t salivate to have holes opened for them like these teams. Our running attack doesn’t allow our rb’s to run behind the two biggest, strongest O lineman on the team, our tackles enough.

  7. Beeej Says:

    Niners loses coincided with injuries on the O side

  8. SufferingSince76 Says:

    The question is have the Bucs already conceded this game or will they cinch up their sacks and play like men?

  9. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Lavonte needs to have the smell of George Kittles jersey on him at all times. Devin White needs to get to know McCaffrey like he is teaching him sumo wrestling. These are the matchups I want to see.

  10. Mike C Says:

    Man….. IF, and that is a big IF, the bucs beat the 9ers, sky is the limit with the confidence the team would gain from that.

  11. Cobraboy Says:

    Don’t smoke the opium for a big upset in SF.

    The 9ers are reeling and pi$$ed they have lost any games at all.

    There is a chance this team can get blown out early if history is any indication of future performance.

    One decent D outing vs. arguably one of the worst teams in the NFL is no objective evidence of a turn-around.

    Bowles is still the coach of this team, so eggs can still be laid.

  12. Tony Marks Says:

    Why should it matter?

    CMC is a running back and according to a leading trask analyst ” its 2023″ “You don’t need a running game” “you can run the ball in the air”

    We should be happy and even thrilled the Niners are wasting time and money on their obsolete running backs


  13. Jeff Says:

    The Bucs probably have 5% chance of winning this game. Gotta hope SF is under motivated to play the Bucs. SF 30 Bucs 17.

  14. Tony Marks Says:

    Mike C Says:

    Man….. IF, and that is a big IF, the bucs beat the 9ers, sky is the limit with the confidence the team would gain from that.


    The game itself wouldn’t even be half as fun for real bucs fans as the subsequent explanations and rationalizations from fake fans in these comments as to why its meaningless or lucky and they were still right.

    However we would probably need to up the police presence on tall buildings and bridges in central Florida.

  15. orlbucfan Says:

    Tony Marks Says:
    November 16th, 2023 at 9:03 am
    However we would probably need to up the police presence on tall buildings and bridges in central Florida.
    Why? It sure didn’t happen during the 1980s when the Bucs were the crown/clown princes of losing. This team is lightyears better. Gonna be funny reading Bucs blogs Monday morn if they come home with a win.

  16. SteveK Says:

    I remember a few years ago Vita Vea broke through the line and McCaffrey mad a great business decision to fall down prior to contact. I ember thinking Vita is 3x his size. I kind of have the same reservations regarding Bryce young getting sacked by Vita and/or Kancey.

  17. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Well, this is the weekend that I feared. My home town team was the 9ers. I had season thickets to Kesar and Candlestick (great place for football). Then I came to Dunedin for 25 years. I became infected with Buc Ball back in 1978! Cannot get rid of it!
    I expect a closer game than most predict- -just to screw with my head. 49rs have more to lose than the Bucs so should win. The do have a (gasp) running attack, as well.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    The oldsters here may remember when an unexpected win against the strong 9ers was the Dungy “break-through” game, where the Bucs damaged the 9ers.

    Of course, that was at home in the Sombrero. August 31, 1997, new uni debut, Young and Rice knocked out of the game, Alstott Dunn running amock, a truly glorious day for Buc fans everywhere. A new day in Tampa Bay.

    One can dream.

    History may not repeat itself, but as a wise man once said, it rhymes.

  19. unbelievable Says:

    I mean… duh?

    They have an outstanding offensive line, and probably the most creative / innovative playcaller in the league.

    I dream that one day we’ll have an unpredictable, powerful offense like the ones that Kyle Shanahan runs.

  20. garro Says:

    Get em coached up coach Bowles and let em know we gotta stop this dude. I would rather get beat by their other “weapons” sir.

    Go Bucs!

  21. ScottyMack Says:

    So, what you are saying is that the Panthers had a pathetic, predictable offense. Man, you would have thought Baker would have excelled there (insert eye roll here).