As one gets older, the body begins to slow down, the aches and pains begin to become more prominent, taking longer to heal and the amount of significant hits one can absorb drastically falls.
The most common time in a running back’s life that this takes effect is the 30-year age mark.
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore hit that 30-year mark on May 14 of this year. Will this year be the start of the downward spiral for the 217-pound Gore?
Based on his last two seasons, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Gore has not fallen off the platform of dominance at all, showing no signs of slowing down.
Last season, Gore actually posted his highest yardage rushing-total since the 2006 season with his 1,214 yards. His eight total touchdowns in 2012 matched his touchdown output in 2011. Finally, in the receiving game, Gore actually doubled his 2011 total yards hauling in 28 passes for 234 yards.
Not one of these numbers gives a hint as to the decline of the man entering his 9th season in the league.
We did in fact see a decline in the long distance rushes by Gore.
In 2012, he only accumulated seven carries of 20+ yards and no carries going for 40+ yards. While he hasn’t been able to break off any big time running plays, Gore still averaged 4.7 yards per carry, which is his best since 2009 in which he posted a 4.9 average.
The only downside to drafting Gore in the 2013 fantasy football draft is that the 49ers have a new franchise quarterback with Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick is a very athletic and mobile quarterback who was seen multiple times running the ball into the end zone kissing his biceps in celebration. A mobile quarterback can take away carries from the running back as the game plan puts specific plays into the game for the quarterback to run the ball.
Gore will continue to produce in the 2013 season to the level that we are accustomed to seeing from him every time his number is called. Just remember that the 49ers game plan could change entering the 2013 season and Gore may not see as many touches as he has in the past.