For the 49ers to have a chance at beating the Jets and their 4th ranked rushing defense this Sunday, Frank Gore needs to have more touches. In games when Gore runs at least 20 times the 49ers usually win. Last week he had 24 touches and the 49ers won. He only had 66 yards rushing and two fumbles (one lost) but that is more because of the lackluster play of the offensive line not creating holes for Gore in which he had to stop and go the other way to find a hole for himself. This is the O-line’s job each play, not the running backs. Also, the 49ers lack of use of a fullback is slowing down Gore and his numbers. Right now the Niner’s do not have an official fullback on the roster (RB Michael Robinson is listed and plays as the fullback.) This is a lingering aftereffect of the failed Mike Nolan Era. In the off-season Nolan released former FB Moran Norris and replaced him with Zak Keasey who never played the position before and is now on IR.
Gore’s Numbers in Four Wins:
Seahawks: 19 attempts, 61 yards
Lions: 27 attempts, 130 yards
Rams: 18 attempts, 106 yards
Bills: 24 attempts, 66 yards
Notable: In the close loss against the Cardinals on Monday Night Football Gore had 23 attempts, 99 yards.
In all the games the 49ers have lost this season Gore has had less than 20 attempts, coincidence? Even if the 49ers find themselves down by two scores Gore needs to remain a heavy part of the game. Shaun Hill has proven to be a good quarterback but he is still gaining experience. The 49ers cannot rely on just him late in games to make a comeback. Hill proved that against the Cardinals and the Cowboys (Gore had 14 attempts) when the 49ers still had a chance but went with a heavy passing game ignoring the run to try to pull even. A consistent, heavy dose of Gore at any point in the game no matter how much of a lead or down the 49ers find themselves will equal success for the 49ers. He is the heart and when he stops beating the offense is left for dead.