Christian McCaffrey brings scoring burst back to Panthers' offense

4:45 PM ET

Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule said earlier in the week that touchdowns were the biggest difference between his team and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs scored them at a high rate, he noted, and the Panthers settled for too many field goals.

That all changed on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium with the return of star running back Christian McCaffrey and some aggressive playcalling. The Panthers, at least temporarily, ended their red zone woes by scoring touchdowns on four drives inside the 20.

That wasn’t enough to upset the NFL’s second-highest-scoring team, which held on for a 33-31 victory, but it gave Carolina hope for what it can be with a few more pieces.

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McCaffrey is a big reason. After missing the last six games with a high ankle sprain, he returned to lead the team in rushing (18 carries, 69 yards, TD) and receiving (10 catches, 82 yards, TD). There was no rust on McCaffrey, who last year became the

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