With his 86 rushing yards on 22 carries in a 33-14 win by the San Francisco 49ers over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15 action, Frank Gore surpassed the 1,000 rushing yard mark for the seventh time in his career. To date in the 2013 season, Gore has rushed for 1,017 yards and it is fair to assume that by the end of the regular season he will finish anywhere between 1,100 and 1,200 rushing yards.
With Gore once again surpassing 1,000 rushing yards this got me to thinking about discussion of when he decides to end to his career and specifically the discussion of whether or not Frank Gore is a Hall of Famer. In his ninth year as an NFL player, Gore has rushed for 9,586 yards and 59 rushing touchdowns. These are respectable numbers for a player at his position in his ninth year, and as a result it is easy to see why one would begin to entertain the question of his Hall of Fame candidacy once his career is finished.
Unsure of how much longer Gore will play I am going to assume that he finishes his career by rushing somewhere around the neighborhood of 12,000 yards with 70-75 touchdowns just to be on the safe side. If that is the final career stat line for Frank Gore then one would imagine that it would be hard for him to be kept out of the Hall of Fame given that he has demonstrated to be a durable and steady running back over the length of his career. Yet with all that said, something inside me says that despite his consistency he will not get into the Hall of Fame.
There are two major factors which I see hurting Gore and his future Hall of Fame candidacy once it comes time to consider his career. The first is that I am not sure how many voters will view Gore as being a Hall of Famer. Numbers aside, part of me doubts that when a majority of are asked the question that they will respond with an immediate yes or will say something along the lines of I need to think about it. To compare, the likes of Adrian Peterson and LaDainian Tomlinson are running backs we know voters will immediately vote in given that they not only have put up the numbers but you say to yourself, yes he is a Hall of Famer.
Along those lines, another reason which I see potentially keeping Gore out of the Hall of Fame is that Gore might not be seen by enough voters as having been one of the three best running backs at any point during his playing career. While Gore has been consistent in his performance, it is hard to argue that during any one season has there been talk of him as being the best or one of the best running backs during that particular season, and this will work against his candidacy. While I hope as a fan that Gore one day gets in, the reality is that those with a vote do not see him as a Hall of Famer.