For the past decade, every NFL MVP has gone to a quarterback. The last time a non-signal-caller took home the hardware as the league's top player came in 2012 when Adrian Peterson busted the 2,000-yard-rushing barrier.
It might be a long shot to upstage the brilliant quarterbacks scattered around the NFL, but San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams thinks teammate Christian McCaffrey has a chance to end the streak of QB dominance over the award.
"Hey, all them streaks come to an end eventually, right?" Williams said, via ESPN. "This might be the year. I can see it."
McCaffrey stated his case loudly in Sunday's 35-16 win, gashing the Arizona Cardinals every which way to the tune of 106 rushing yards on 20 carries with three ground scores. He added 71 receiving yards and another touchdown on seven catches.
Williams said that he knew before the 49ers made the trade for CMC nearly a year ago that the running back was "really good" but didn't know he was that good.
"It's a pleasant surprise every Sunday," Williams said. "He just never ceases to amaze me, hurdling a safety, standing on your feet, getting a (TD). It's just impressive."
Sunday, McCaffrey joined Hall of Famer Jerry Rice as the only 49ers players to have 150-plus scrimmage yards and four-plus TDs in a single game (Rice did it twice). The four touchdowns were the most in CMC's career in a single game and the second-most scrimmage TDs in San Francisco history (behind Rice's five).
CMC is the seventh player in NFL history to score a scrimmage TD in at least 13 straight games, including playoffs. He passed Rice's 12 games for the longest streak in 49ers history and trails only Hall of Famers O.J. Simpson (15), John Riggins (15), Lenny Moore (15) and Emmitt Smith (14).
Entering Monday night's game, McCaffrey leads the NFL in rushing with 459 yards (131 ahead of D'Andre Swift at No. 1) and is tied for the league lead with six rushing touchdowns and seven scrimmage touchdowns. His 600 scrimmage yards through four games tops all players, ahead of Justin Jefferson's 543.
"I'm not sure on the whole rest of the league right now but I thought he played like [an MVP] last year when he was here," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "Christian's so awesome, he helps us win every time he's out there, but when you've got a guy who can do everything, you can always have unbelievable stats, but he shares that with a lot of other guys and we do whatever it takes to win. So, that's to me the thing that would make it the hardest for him, just stats and just how it works out."
The NFL MVP has become a quarterback award, but if McCaffrey stays healthy and continues his hot play, and the 49ers are the best regular-season club, steamrolling through the NFC, then maybe -- just maybe -- we'll see a change from the voters. Of course, if the Niners are the best team in the league, CMC might have to beat out Brock Purdy, who threw just one incomplete pass on 21 attempts Sunday, for those honors.