McCaffrey scores 4 TDs to lead the 49ers past the Cardinals 35-16

Christian McCaffrey scored a career-high four touchdowns and the San Francisco 49ers won their 14th straight regular season game, beating the Arizona Cardinals 35-16 on Sunday.

McCaffrey gained 177 yards from scrimmage, scoring on three runs and one catch to help the 49ers get off to their fifth 4-0 start in franchise history. He also broke Jerry Rice's franchise record by scoring a TD in his 13th straight game, including the playoffs.

Brock Purdy went 20 for 21 for 283 yards with a TD run and pass, setting a 49ers franchise record for completion percentage in a game. He won for the ninth time in nine career regular season starts, leading the 49ers to their fourth straight game with at least 30 points to open the season.

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 01: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates a touchdown by Christian McCaffrey #23 during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on October 01, 2023 in Santa Clara, Californi

Joshua Dobbs threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns to Michael Wilson for the Cardinals (1-3), who were unable to follow up last week's upset at home against Dallas with another win against an NFC powerhouse.

Arizona had no answer to slow down McCaffrey, who became the first player in nine years to start the season with four straight games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage and a TD. He finished with 106 yards on the ground to go with seven catches for 71 yards.

McCaffrey scored on a 1-yard run on the opening drive, took a lateral and hurdled a defender for an 18-yard run on the second drive and caught a 6-yard TD pass in the third possession of the game. He added a 2-yard run in fourth quarter to give the Niners a 28-16 cushion.

McCaffrey had a chance to tie the franchise record with his fifth touchdown of the game when the Niners got to the 1 in the closing minutes. But coach Kyle Shanahan called for a run to fullback Kyle Juszczyk that got no yards, and Purdy then scored on a sneak.


McCaffrey broke Jerry Rice's franchise record by scoring a touchdown in his 13th straight game, including the playoffs. He's the first player in the NFL to do that since Arian Foster had a 13-game streak for Houston in 2011-12. McCaffrey is two shy of the record since the merger held by John Riggins and O.J. Simpson.

He also became the fourth Niners player since 1991 to score three TDs in the first half, joining Jerry Rice, Ricky Watters and Tevin Coleman.


The Cardinals put together a scoring drive late in the first half thanks in part to a fake punt. Backed up at their 21 on fourth-and-2, coach Jonathan Gannon called for a fake that upback Ezekiel Turner converted.

Dobbs capped the drive with back-to-back passes to Wilson, a 33-yarder to convert a third down and then a 16-yard TD that made it 21-10 at the half.


Cardinals: CB Kris Boyd (hip) left the game in the second half.

49ers: OL Jon Feliciano left the game with a concussion.


Cardinals: Host Cincinnati on Sunday.

49ers: Host Dallas on Sunday.