Posted: 9:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013
By David Fucillo
It would seem the rumors of Frank Gore's demise were greatly exaggerated. After some early season struggles, Gore and the 49ers ground would seem to be back on track. A week after rushing for 82 yards on 11 carries, Gore busted out in a big way against the Rams, rushing for 153 yards on 20 carries. The total equaled his fifth best single-game performance.
With the 153 yards, Gore surpassed 9,000 career rushing yards. He snuck four yards past Adrian Peterson into No. 33 on the all-time rushing list. Peterson will likely surpass Gore on Sunday, but even still, Gore continues to climb the charts. The 49ers running back now has 9,134 rushing yards, with 12 games left to play. If he averages a shade over 72 yards per game the rest of the season, he can surpass 10,000 yards in the regular season finale.
After the first two games this year, there was some chatter that Gore might be running out of gas. Most of this was coming from sources I don't exactly look to for awe-inspiring football analysis, but it wasn't surprising to hear this develop. But as we have seen the last two weeks, Frank Gore is most definitely not finished.
While Gore is no speed demon at this point in his career, he never really was the kind of guy to out-run every defender. Rather, he could, and still can, find the hole and break through soft patches in the defense. There are not many running backs with the vision Frank Gore brings to the field every week. We see it with the way he squeezes through the absolute tiniest of holes. Sometimes the holes aren't there, but if the line can give Gore even just a few inches of space, he will turn that into three or four yards. It's become almost a trademark for Gore.
And that really is the key to this 49ers season. Yes it would be nice to see Kap get going on a regular basis, but Frank Gore can help take this team to the promised land. The 49ers have the depth to keep him fresh, and Kendall Hunter showed that he has his legs back after his Achilles injury. It remains to be seen what the team will do with LaMichael James on a regular basis, but the talent is there and it would be foolish for Greg Roman to stray too far from a rushing attack that can be as dominant as any in the league. Let's hope Roman recognizes this heading into next Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.