For those of you tuning in for the aforementioned recap from Fooch, sorry to burst your bubble: he's currently passed out at the moment, apparently Public House has some good stuff. As I noted on SBNBA while I figured Fooch was writing on here, the victory over the Cardinals, which kept the 49ers in the hunt for the NFC West crown, came with a pretty big price to pay: losing Frank Gore for the remainder of the season.
So Brian Westbrook's affirmation that yes, he can still play is no longer a definite plus, but more of a silver lining. It's nice to know he can still work in between the tackles, it's great to see him fighting and diving for every yard, and definitely a plus to see him picking up the occasional blitz. I don't think, however, that any of us will claim we're better off with Westbrook as a full-time starter than we would be with Frank Gore as a full-time starter.
Gore, on five carries, went for 52 yards with a long of 25. He then went down with a hip injury, took to the sidelines on his own power, then sort of bullied his way back into the game ... before retreating once more. He felt the injury, and the coaches knew he felt it. So they allegedly hid his helmet from him so he wouldn't go back into the game. I love Frank Gore.
Westbrook's long was 19 yards, but he did go for 136 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown, which was great. He fought for every yard, he made people miss, and he didn't go down at first contact. He looked like a very fresh running back, and should have enough left in the tank to be the starter going forward. As a colleague of mine noted on SB Nation Bay Area, the 49ers don't have many stiff tests to deal with in the rushing defense category left on their schedule:
@ Green Bay (22nd), Seattle (18th), @ San Diego (9th), @ St. Louis (17th) and Arizona (21st)
If Westbrook can play the same way he played against the Cardinals going forward, the 49ers will be in good shape. Anthony Dixon looked decent, too. 14 carries with 54 yards and his second career touchdown is a pretty good game, I'd say.
So ... what do we reckon?
How much of an impact will losing Frank Gore have?
Big impact, Westbrook is no Gore (326 votes)
Not as big, Westbrook can handle this (409 votes)
735 total votes