The San Francisco 49ers have been known as a running team the last few years. It has been a staple of this franchise since Jim Harbaugh took over his head coach. He wanted to run power behind his huge offensive line and punish the opposition. The 49ers did a great job with the run last season, averaging more than 150 yards per game but this year has been a different story.
Frank Gore has carried the ball 30 times for a total of 60 yards. That is a two yard average after averaging almost five yards a carry last season. It may be that Gore is nearing the end of his career since most running backs start to decline around the age of 29 to 30. Gore, the franchise leader in rushing yards, is now 30 and it might be time for the 49ers to look for another feature back.
Gore will look to prove he has more in the tank this Sunday against the Indianapolis, who struggled against the run. The Colts allowed Terrelle Pryor to run for 112 yards in week 1 and two rushing touchdowns to the Dolphins in a loss in week 2. If Gore cannot put together a good game, the 49ers may give Kendall Hunter more carries because he is a quicker back, a trend that is utilized more in the NFL than the power back.
Gore has contended that defenses are really keying in on stopping the 49ers run attack. In the past, the 49ers were able to run the ball with efficiency even with the defenses were ready for it. The 49ers are known for their physical offensive line that punishes the opponents’ defensive front sevens and Gore had been the beneficiary in the past.
It may be that defenses have finally figured out the 49ers run game and Gore might have a huge game against the Colts, but chances are that Gore is slowing down. The 49ers will have to look for their next feature back on their roster, in free agency or the upcoming 2014 NFL draft. Right now, they have Gore and hopefully he will make all 49ers fans forget about the first two weeks of the season with a stellar performance on Sunday at the Stick.
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