I originally posted this in the "Frank Gore's Struggles" topic, but it seems as though it's dying out a bit and I really wanted more people to know just how good of a year Frank Gore is having. I also added some insight on the "fumbling issues." Find out after the jump.
I know it looks bad, but look a little further. I did a little research and this is what I found. If you look at his rushing stats, they look average. 91 rushes for 322 yards, which is only a 3.5ypc average, and only 1 rushing TD. But we’re not looking at Frank Gore the running back. We’re looking at Frank Gore the football player. He also leads all running backs in the league with 33 receptions for 284 yards and 2 more scores. That actually puts him at number two in the entire league in yards from scrimmage this season, with 606, behind only Arian Foster (562 rush yards, 154 receiving yards, for a total of 716). Now again, Frank Gore is considered a work horse. But how much of a work horse, you ask? Consider the fact that only one player in the league has touched the ball more times than Frank Gore thus far this season, that player being Chris Johnson (113 rushes, 13 receptions, for a total of 126). Chris is 9th in the league in total yards, at 524. Frank Gore has 91 rushes and 33 catches, giving him 124 total touches. He is actually on pace for 1030 rushing yards and 909 receiving yards with 10 total TDs this season, getting him close to another 2000 all purpose yard season. That would be 5 straight 1000 yard seasons, and another great year for Frank Gore. There is nothing bad about these numbers, and if he stays healthy I could see him realistically getting closer to 1200 yards rushing, and probably around 650 yards receiving. Frank Gore is still a beast, he is still a work horse, and he is still my favorite player on the 49ers offense. And if you want some opinion in this cold hard fact of a post, I think he’s getting less yards this year per carry because the offensive line isn’t getting any push, and the play calling for the most part has been bland. We will hopefully continue to mix it up, throwing curve balls, and getting some push for Frank. He’s getting stopped at the line too much, and that’s rarely a running backs fault. Don’t worry though guys, he’ll still run for 200+ against Seattle at Candlestick, just wait and see!
Now as far as the "fumbing issue" in concerned, take a look at a couple of things. Firstly, Frank Gore has 3 fumbles out of 124 touches, which is roughly 2.4%, or 1 fumble per 41 touches. Now I'm not going to lie, that's really not good. But take a look at Adrian Peterson in his breakout 2008 season. He had 9 fumbles on 384 touches, which is roughly 2.3%, or 1 fumble per 42 touches. Verrrry similar numbers we're seeing here. And while I know people will openly admit that Adrian Peterson has fumbling issues, I don't see anybody saying he should be traded, or benched, or he sucks, or anything like that because of it. Finally, there are actually 10 total running back or full backs with worse percentages this year than Frank Gore on fumbles per touches. The worst in the league by far is running back Chris Ivory from Carolina, with two fumbles on only 29 touches, that's a 6.9% chance to fumble, or one in every 14 or so touches. Other running back/full backs with worse percentages than Frank Gore are Willis McGahee, Ricky Williams, Tim Hightower, Peyton Hillis, John Kuhn, Ahmad Bradshaw, Mike Tolbert, Johnathan Stewart, and Beanie Wells. A couple of guys that are just about the same as Frank in that aspect are Knowshon Moreno and even Ryan Matthews.
Now with that said, these "fumbling issues" aren't really anything that has just creeped up all of a sudden. Frank Gore has never really been known for being the most secure running back, but we have always loved him before. Some guys like LaDanian Tomlinson or Steven Jackson are naturally talented with ball security, and are great running backs. But some guys like Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore are just as good, but with less ball security. You can't have it all no matter which way you go. Me personally? I think Frank Gore is still an elite back, not just with running the ball, but also as a receiver.
DID YOU KNOW? Frank Gore leads all players in the entire league in yards from scrimmage from 2006 till now?? You'd better believe it.
NOTE: This post is entirely created by myself, including all mathmatics and research on statistics. With that said, I'm only human, and while I'm pretty good with my numbers, I will occasionally have a human error. If you find one, please forgive me. All figures in this post should be up to date as I added in figures from tonights game between the Vikings and the Jets.