I have something to admit: When the 2012 NFL season began, I thought Frank Gore’s career was on a downward spiral.
The logic was simple; the San Francisco 49ers drafted Kendall Hunter last year, LaMichael James this year and added Brandon Jacobs to the backfield in order to phase Gore out. He’s getting a bit older for a running back and let’s face it, he hasn’t always had the best track record when it comes to staying healthy.
I thought so little of Gore that I avoided him in like the plague in fantasy leagues and drafted Hunter in every single league I’m in! Man was I wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Gore has looked spectacular so far this season. He not only has rushed for 601 yards so far but he’s averaging 5.8 yards per carry, putting him among the highest in league history. What makes this so impressive to me is that Gore does this playing on an offense that is heavily run based. Opponents are always keying in on stopping the Niners’ run game and Gore is still shredding defenses. Last night he had 92 of his 131 yards in the second half on only ten carries. To put that in perspective, the Seattle Seahawks defense only gives up 70 yards per game on the ground.
Gore does credit the offensive line for his success and rightly so, but the San Francisco coaching staff is also doing a great job of keeping Gore fresh and splitting more of his carries with Hunter. The 49ers know their offense runs through Gore and the running game, so keeping him healthy is a smart choice. Want proof? In each game Gore has failed to rush for 100 yards or a touchdown, the Niners have lost. If Gore gets 100 yards or scores a touchdown, the 49ers are 5-0.
It also looks to me as if Gore is in better shape this season, which helps him get to the holes quicker. The injury risk is still a concern since Gore got banged up last night when he said he got speared, but continued to play through it until the end of the game. San Francisco is well aware of the injury history that comes with Gore and they are doing everything they can to ensure his health.
At 29-years old I thought Gore was done; I was way off. Not only does he have plenty of gas left in the tank but it appears as though he’s just refilled.
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