Or should it be “Can Gore Repeat his FEET? Watching the 49ers game last Sunday against the Seahawks Frank Gore showed what type of player he can still become, a dominating running back that no matter how many men you stacked on the line he will find a way to gain yards and make you pay. I am not saying that Gore has not been that type of player for the 49ers but with his declining numbers since he rushed for a 49er franchise record 1,695 yards in 2006 not many people were expecting anything higher than 1,100 yards rushing for this season. We are only two games into the season but with the performance last week Gore and the rest of the teams confidence in the running game will not fade. There were numerous factors for the decline in rushing yards but if you were to ask Gore he would not make those into excuses. He would say ‘it’s all on me.’ Hearing the talk from NFL pundits in the off-season Gore would continue his decline. I am sure Gore heard the noise and said ‘nope, not me, not this year.’ Gore went through his most vigorous off-season workout this year and came into training camp in the best shape of his life. So far it has paid off. Gore will have his first big test of the season against the Vikings and their number one rushing defense.
Some NFL talking heads continue to say Gore has not been tested yet and we will see if he is for real against the Vikings DE Jared Allen, DT’s Pat Williams and Kevin Williams. The Vikings D are excellent at stopping the run. They are currently ranked 15th in the NFL this season but have finished the season number one against the run in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Gore won’t have repeat of last week’s game but he can get up to 100 yards rushing. Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye needs to be relentless with the running game, which he has been so far, even if they are not getting the yards they need. The Vikings pass defense is good but only because of their exceptional defensive line consistently pressuring the QB. Shaun Hill needs to continue doing what he does best which is manage the game effectively but if Gore wants to approach 100 yards rushing Hill will need to be a passing threat to make the Vikings account for the passing game. Otherwise, they will stack 8 to 9 men in the box and Gore will have a repeat performance, but like week 1 when he gained only 30 yards.
Keep updated automatically through email on 49ers news at Niner Noise. Subscribe here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/NinerNoise