Niners RB Christian McCaffrey scores rare hat trick in comeback

Two games into his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers, Christian McCaffrey is already making history.

McCaffrey had assists, rushes and touchdowns in a stellar second performance for San Francisco on Sunday in their 31-14 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

McCaffrey became the first NFL player since Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005 to score the rare touchdown hat-trick. Since the 1970 merger, only McCaffrey, Tomlinson and the late great Walter Payton (1979) have thrown, rushed and received touchdowns in the same game.

Two of McCaffrey’s three touchdowns came in the second half to lead San Francisco’s comeback from a four-point deficit to a 17-point rout. True to form, however, CMC was more concerned with having a victory to celebrate rather than an individual achievement to applaud.

“Obviously these things are really cool,” McCaffrey said, via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “I think the most important thing is to get a win and play a second half like that too. … But I’m just proud to be a 49er and it feels good to get a win today. “

In total, McCaffrey rushed 18 times for 94 yards, completed one pass on as many attempts for 34 yards, and caught eight passes for 55 yards. He became the first player in the Super Bowl era with more than 30 yards passing, rushing, receiving and scoring in every category, according to NFL Research.

“I think everyone knows what a good player he is, but I love how consistent and controlled he is in what he does,” Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said. . “He’s a very smart player and he makes a lot of plays and stuff, but it’s the consistency of how he plays his game. I feel like he was a great guy to add for us. “

McCaffrey, who the 49ers acquired through a trade from the Carolina Panthers, threw his second career touchdown pass to open the scoring for San Francisco. He hit wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for 34 yards in the second quarter, which led to a draw.

He later scored the Niners’ second-half onslaught that turned the game around for good.

McCaffrey pulled in a 9-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to take San Francisco’s first lead of the game in the third quarter. The score would be the game-winner, but CMC didn’t finish as it played from a yard to tally the NFL’s rarest hat tricks.

To say McCaffrey was a quick study of Shanahan’s offense would be an understatement. McCaffrey got off to a great start with his new team, leading comeback wins and making history.

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