McCaffrey scores 3 TDs, Panthers hold off Jaguars 34-27

McCaffrey scores 3 TDs, Panthers hold off Jaguars 34-27
Christian McCaffrey scores three touchdowns helping lead the Carolina Panthers past the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, 34-27. (Source: Carolina Panthers)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Christian McCaffrey tied a career high with 237 yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns, Brian Burns returned a fumble 56 yards for a touchdown and had a strip-sack in the fourth quarter, and the Carolina Panthers held on to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-27 on Sunday for their third straight win.

McCaffrey set a franchise record with an 84-yard TD run and scored on a 5-yard run when he somersaulted into the end zone. He also caught an 18-yard TD pass from Kyle Allen before leaving with five minutes remaining after cramping up.

But McCaffrey's seldom-used replacement Reggie Bonnafon had a 59-yard touchdown run to put Carolina (3-2) up by seven with 3:34 left.

Carolina's defense thwarted Jacksonville's final two scoring drives when Burns sacked rookie Gardner Minshew to force a turnover and Luke Kuechly batted down a pass on the game's final play.

Minshew finished 26 of 45 for 374 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Jaguars (2-3). Leonard Fournette had 23 carries for 108 yards and a score.

It was the fourth time this season McCaffrey has recorded at least 175 yards from scrimmage. McCaffrey's latest big day put the third-year running back on pace for 2,771 yards from scrimmage, which would shatter the NFL single-season record of 2,509 yards set by Tennessee's Chris Johnson in 2009.

McCaffrey has shown a flare for the dramatic after a juggling one-handed catch last week against Houston.

On Sunday, he took control on the game's first drive. On one play, he stiff-armed a Jaguars defender, then juked out another on the next play and finally somersaulted in the end zone on a third play after getting flipped into the air.

Allen improved to 3-0 as Carolina’s starter and became the first undrafted NFL quarterback to win his first four career starts since Kurt Warner.