Who is Panthers’ non-QB MVP heading into 2022?

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We know it’s still a bit exciting, but let’s take a little break from talking about new Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield. In fact, let’s take a break from talking about quarterbacks, period.

Luckily, we have Around the NFL writer Kevin Patra to lead the way on the initiative—with his picks for each team’s most valuable non-quarterback heading into the 2022 campaign. And for the Panthers, he has the clear choice of running back Christian McCaffrey—who hasn’t necessarily had to be on the field to remind folks of his importance.

“It’s becoming a broken record, but health is the biggest impediment to McCaffrey regaining his title of most versatile weapon in the NFL. After the electric 1,000/1,000 season in 2019, CMC has missed 23 games due to injury,” Patra writes. “A dual-threat force, McCaffrey owns power and wiggle up the middle, good hands in the passing game and open-field ability to torture whichever linebacker finds himself stuck in coverage. McCaffrey led the NFL with 5,443 scrimmage yards from 2017 through 2019.”

McCaffrey’s value to Carolina as a whole, let alone to their offense, is quite apparent. In the seven games with him, the Panthers went 4-3 and averaged 321.0 total yards per contest. Without him, they spiraled out to 1-9 while averaging 283.4 yards an outing.

When McCaffrey missed time in 2021, whether it was due to his hamstring strain or his season-ending ankle sprain, the offense sorely lacked any type of identity. But, hopefully for the Panthers, his presence in 2022 will help them find out exactly who they are—for better or for worse.

Over/Under: 1,699.5 McCaffrey total yards in '22-23? - Powered By PickUp

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