Anybody who owns more than one car generally has a car that they use to get around town and go to and from work everyday. When you need to rely upon that “oldie” of a car, it will be there and will get you around just as good as it did when you first bought that car. What I just described explains who and what Frank Gore has been for the San Francisco 49ers in their first two road playoff wins, as his play against the Carolina Panthers cemented him as that reliable “oldie.”
Even though he did not have a big game rushing the football in the first half of the game on Sunday, Gore served as a viable and very important contributor during the second half, as the 49ers put away and submitted the Panthers into submission. During the 49ers’ first drive of the final 15 minute period, Gore rushed the ball five times, including a very important 3rd-and-1 conversion where he ran for 39 yards. This got the 49ers into the Panthers’ territory. Phil Dawson capped it off with a 34 yard field goal that extended the 49ers’ lead to 23-10 and all but wrapped up a win.
Gore would finish with a respectable stat line of 17 carries for 84 yards, while also having one reception for eight yards. This is, once again, a case where the stat line does not tell the full story of how well and how important Gore was in sealing a 49ers win on Sunday afternoon. While Gore was not needed to be a major contributor during the first three quarters, like that old car you keep around, Gore proved that when he was most needed to produce and come through, he was ready to do so. Like his 39 yard run proved, he still knows how to find that crease and break through for a big gain, which breaks the morale of the opposition defense.
Against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, Gore did not have the most spectacular game, but he did have two big runs which resulted in a 49ers touchdown and a very important first down conversion during the game winning drive. Against the Panthers, ‘The Truth’ was asked to carry the load during the fourth quarter and he did that and more.