In the previous two playoff games, the San Francisco 49ers showed an ability to run the football in the second-half of games which allowed them as an offensive unit to be able to turn the momentum of the game or maintain control of the game. In particular, Frank Gore proved valuable at picking up key yardage running the football in each respective second-half in helping the 49ers win those games.
It was assumed that running the football against the Seattle Seahawks was going to be tough given that the Seahawks are a very good defense with a very good front four more than capable of stopping opposing running backs from having good games against them. That said, it was going to be imperative that the 49ers be able to get Frank Gore touches, especially in the second half in order to help them control the ball and potentially win the game.
Yet in losing to the Seahawks on Sunday, the 49ers failed to get the ‘Inconvenient Truth’ himself going in the second half of the game when he would have been most valuable. In total, Frank Gore only had 11 carries for 14 yards rushing in the game. While the 49ers had 161 yards rushing as a team, Colin Kaepernick accounted for 130 of those yards on the ground. Quite frankly, the 49ers’ offense failed to establish and get Gore going in the second-half of a losing effort.
Many will argue that it was going to be tough for Gore to be able to run the football and that it would have been bad strategy to try and run it with him in the second half of the game. That said, to a certain extent as an offense teams must stay true to their identity. Now maybe Gore would not have ended up with 75 rushing yards for the game, but you get the feeling that in a couple of the drives the 49ers’ offense decided to favor throwing the football as opposed to running it with Gore.
Even though the final rushing numbers will show that the 49ers had a very good rushing game in their NFC Championship game loss to the Seahawks, watching the game it feels like — for at least for 49ers fans watching it — they abandoned what they do best by omitting Gore in the second-half.