Frank Gore insists that his ribs are fine. It did not appear as though the hit he took against Seattle with 6 minutes left in the first half did anything other then motivate Gore who rushed for close to 100 yards after that point, but with Kendall Hunter taking all the snaps with the team trying to ice the game, clearly something was wrong. The 49ers next game is not until their Monday Night contest with the Arizona Cardinals, so the team’s work horse will have plenty of time to rest his “fine” ribs. It’s important to have him back and as healthy as possible as he has been the one consistent factor on the teams offense. He also has become the best running ever, for a team that has had a rich history.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Frank Gore at the age of 29 is already the teams all-time leading rusher, and currently second in the NFL in rushing yards this year. He is showing that he has plenty left in the tank and will do nothing but pad his lead. More impressive then his 601 yards this year though is his 5.8 per rush average. The league leader, Marshawn Lynch has 44 more carries then Gore, showing the efficiency of the 49ers tailback. This should really not be a surprise though as Gore has been shredding defenses since he entered the league in 2005. He has tallied 32 100-yard rushing games in his career, which is the most over that span. He is more then just an elite runner though, as the teams success is directly linked to number 21.
He Runs They Win
Not only has Gore taken every snap under the reign of Jim Harbaugh, but the team is 8-0 when Gore breaks the 100 yard mark during that time. Gore has made it almost too easy for his coach, as there should be no question what the game plan should be week in and week out. Feed Gore the ball. In the two losses this year he has touched the ball a total of 20 times, and the offense has struggled. As shown in the second half of the teams win over the Seahawks he can put this team on his broad shoulders, and when they are struggling as a whole, can be enough offensively for his team to win. For any type of playoff run they will need to play better as a unit, but if they can get Gore going, the odds of them beating any team, in any venue is pretty good.
He Can Do It All
Other then out “Beast moding” Marshawn Lynch, Gore did something else that was special Thursday night. With his 5 receptions he passed the 300 mark for his career which puts him on an active list with Reggie Bush and Stephen Jackson. However, when looking historically at the franchise it puts him behind Roger Craig. Considering that Craig played in a much more pass orientated attack, and Gore has him already beat in rushing yards, one can argue that Gore is the greatest 49er running back of all time. For a team that has won 5 Superbowl’s and had some of the best teams ever assembled that is quite a feat. Now though, its time for Gore to lead his team to a Super Bowl and cement his spot in 49er lore. To do this his coach must realize that the offense starts and ends with his tailback, which is becoming more obvious with each passing game.
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Jerrell Richardson is a Bay Area native who due to a college career at San Diego State University has grown an appreciation for all things sports related in California. His heart will always remain in San Francisco though where he currently resides and covers everything from the San Francisco 49ers and Giants to the San Jose Sharks and California Bears Baseball team. His work can be found on Examiner.com.