Building the greatest 49ers all-time offense in franchise history
All-time best 49ers running backs
To make it in the playoffs, it takes one of two things: a dominant defense or a successful rushing attack.
If every NFL team had a stable of running backs like this, a deep playoff run would be expected every year whether they had a defense or not.
Roger Craig was a multi-skilled back in the 1980s who was equally talented in both the rushing and the passing game. He gave Joe Montana a reliable option and a chance at a first down when all other options were not an option.
Stat line: 1991 rushes, 8,189 yards, 56 TDs, 566 receptions, 4,911 yards, 17 TDs
Garrison Hearst owned the 1990s with his power running and breakaway speed. He had a knack for running away with the game, or coming up big when things looked bleak.
Stat line: 1,831 rushes for 7,966 yards, 30 TDs, 229 receptions, 2,065, 9 TDs
Frank Gore shocked the world in the 2000s, after two career-ending knee injuries in college and went on to become the oldest active running back in history. He didn’t just defy the odds, he carried a roster on his back through a rebuild and straight into the NFC Championship game.
Stat line: 3,735 rushes, 16,000 yards, 81 TDs, 484 receptions, 3,985 yards, 18 TDs
Christian McCaffrey is an absolute phenom. His breakaway speed is second to none, and his ability to pass, run and catch makes him the most versatile player in the game. His Swiss Army knife-style of play makes him a chameleon in every situation.
Stat line: 1,025 rushes, 4,726 yards, 38 TDs, 442 receptions, 3,756, 22 TDs
A running back squad of this caliber is every head coach’s dream, but it would probably suit current head coach Kyle Shanahan the best. It would be a Pro Bowl-caliber, running back-by-committee style offense, and that is every bit his style.
Each of these running backs varies in skill set and ability, but amid their differences, they share one major thing in common: Each one is arguably the best of their decade for the franchise.