Frank Gore's Oustanding Season Provides Hope

Glenn Franco SimmonsAnalyst IOctober 11, 2008

One of San Francisco’s bright spots this year is none other than fan-favorite Frank Gore.

This special running back has an outstanding 85.6 yards per game rushing average, which is fourth among all running backs. Only Michael Turner, Clinton Portis, and Adrian Peterson are ranked ahead of him, in that order.

That’s quite impressive.

If Gore continues to rush near his average per game so far, he will be on pace to quickly break past 1,000 yards (1,353.6 yards projected at his average per game).

In San Francisco’s three losses, Gore has only run 14, 15 and 12 times, respectively. Granted, the team was behind in those games, but there is something to be said for establishing the run early and often.

For one thing, the offense won’t become predictable and one-dimensional. It also means the defense will be on the field a lot less—if the running game is successful. The last game’s time of possession was ridiculously weighted toward New England.

Although no one likes making excuses for the defense, which I feel is underperforming based upon its potential skill and its existing experience, fans cannot expect it to stay on the field for so long and still perform.

Gore could also be used out of the backfield more often, rather than the two to five times a game that he has been used in San Francisco’s five games. He is a competent receiver out of the backfield and he is elusive. He’s the kind of playmaker who should get all the touches that he possibly can.

As Coach Mike Nolan pointed out on the team’s official Web site, Gore’s importance to the 49ers' offense is not being overlooked by coaches. They understand his uniqueness.

If the coaches were ignoring Gore he would not be leading the NFL in total yards with 603—a 120.6-yard average per game. That figure includes his 180 receiving yards for a 36 yards per game average.

I remember the days of Wendell Tyler and Roger Craig and the excitement I felt about them. They really added a one-two punch to the vaunted San Francisco offense.

Gore gives me similar feelings.

No other running back in the team’s storied history has surpassed 1,000 yards rushing in three consecutive seasons.

Gore has that ability and he’s on pace to go far beyond that.

Although it’s another tough year to be a 49ers fan, at least we have Gore to rally around.