Frank Gore did what I thought he should do: run for at least 100 yards.
I also thought it was important that the 49ers increase his carries, which they did by seven against the Eagles. He also scored a touchdown.
The area where I feel the 49ers are not properly utilizing Gore—even though he leads the league in total yardage (720 total, 120 ypg)—is in receiving. Gore only had three receptions for 16 yards.
You aren’t going to win games with Gore only catching three passes.
With a playmaker like this coming out of the backfield, he should be used.
Remember Roger Craig and other 49er backs?
This brings me to a nagging question: Is Mike Martz’s “system” properly suited to San Francisco’s personnel?
I don’t think so. With all due respect to Isaac Bruce, and with respect due to Arnaz Battle and the other 'Niner receivers, they are not the Bruce and Tory Holt who played for the Rams during Martz’s heyday.
One thing that impressed many people about Bill Walsh was his ability to change, to modify his game plan—weekly.
As Gary Plummer said on the 'Niner radio broadcast, the 49ers are predictable.
I also say they are not playing to their strengths. I also believe the Battle, Bruce, and the others have strengths; but Martz’s system is not their strength.
And that brings me back to Frank Gore’s receptions.
Here are the games, receptions and yardage totals:
Arizona: four, 55
Seattle: five, 38
Detroit: four, 32
New Orleans: two, 31
New England: four, 24.
It is not coincidental that in this team's losses, as the 49ers attempt medium to long strikes downfield, Gore remains a vital and too often ignored receiving threat.