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Christian McCaffrey does it all vs. Seattle, but it's for naught

CHARLOTTE -- Three days removed from Thanksgiving, running back Christian McCaffrey made it clear he still had a big appetite against Seattle in Week 12.

Against the NFL's 10th-best defense, the lead back became the first Panther to rack up more than 100 rushing and receiving yards in the same game when he piled up 125 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries while catching all 11 of his targets for 112 receiving yards and a score.

It was captivating to witness, but come Monday, headlines will only focus on Carolina's 30-27 loss at the hands of Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. And so will McCaffrey.

"That's all great, but I'd rather win," said McCaffrey of his historic day. "We gotta find a way to win; that's what the great teams do so we can do it. It's not a matter of if we can or can't.

"We're in a position where we control our destiny and that makes it more frustrating, but also it's good to remind us that we can win."

After the team's third consecutive loss, head coach Ron Rivera and his staff must go back to the drawing board. Having big-time playmakers is a must in today's NFL, and having McCaffrey, the eighth overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, produce like he did bodes well for the future.

"We look at the guys we have. We try to give our quarterback weapons by what we have done the last couple of drafts. I'd say we have done that," Rivera said.

As one the league's most utilized offensive weapons, McCaffrey has more than proved his value.

One of his best highlights from Sunday came in the fourth quarter when he burned defenders for a 59-yard gain straight up the gut. His stamina was then tested and he passed with flying colors, following with a 15-yard run on the next snap and then catching a 2-yard TD pass from quarterback Cam Newton two plays later.

In regards to managing his energy, McCaffrey added, "I don't really think of it. When I'm in the game, there's so much adrenaline."

McCaffrey's never-quit attitude has endeared him to fans throughout the Carolinas, and after Sunday, that list added an eye-popping name: Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.

"Oh gosh, what a game. What a fantastic player," said Carroll. "I give (Norv Turner) credit for using him in great fashion. Shoot, he had us guessing the whole day. He really did. They did a great job."

McCaffrey is a player who would rather do all of his talking on the field than the locker room. But, after Week 12, he was more vocal about wanting to improve not only individually but as a team.

"I think there's a lot of things I could've done better. That's the beauty of football; you can always get better," McCaffrey said. "The other beauty of it is that we got a game next week so we're gonna let this one hit us a little bit, but not for long.

"We gotta get back at it next week."

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