The San Francisco 49ers put together a unified performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers to lock down a 30-7 win in their regular season opener. All three phases made splash plays including San Francisco's offense, who racked up 188 rushing yards, a majority of which were netted by do-it-all running back Christian McCaffrey. As a result, he has been voted as the Fedex Ground Player of Week 1.
The Pro Bowl running back had 22 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown on the ground in addition to his three receptions for 17 yards. His play of the day came on a 65-yard rushing touchdown during the opening drive of the second half, made possible by excellent run blocking by the offensive line and two open field blocks by wide receivers Ray-Ray McCloud III and Brandon Aiyuk.
"It was awesome blocking. You know those guys up front, that whole run game, it's an 11-man job," McCaffrey said. "They made great blocks. I got a little spin in there, got sprung and then, man, Aiyuk and Ray-Ray downfield - when you have receivers that block like that, it's a special feeling for a running back. You truly feel like your guys have your back, and that's an awesome feeling to have when you're out there."
The Fedex Air and Ground NFL Players of the Week awards have been a weekly performance honor for quarterbacks and running backs over the last three decades. After a player is nominated, weekly winners are selected by fans via an online vote. For the 2023-2024 NFL season, the award sponsor will work with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to make donations of $2,000 in the name of the winning quarterback and running back ($4,000 total) to Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.