Over the next few weeks, we'll be taking a look at "teammates of the week" for each game. After wins it's a lot more fun to see which teammates performed best. And after the San Francisco 49ers 42-10 demolition of the Jacksonville Jaguars, this all the more entertaining.
It is not a shocking development that the 49ers rode the ground game to victory. The 49ers ground attack combined for 221 yards and four touchdowns on 38 carries. The yardage was the fourth highest in the NFL this season, and a season high for the 49ers. The offensive line deserves plenty of credit, but for Sunday Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter were the keys to this offensive output.
The leading rusher on the day was actually Kendall Hunter, who rushed for a career high 84 yards on nine carries. Hunter had only two carries for -2 yards through most of the first three quarters. However, with the team leading 28-10, he got a carry with three minutes left in the third quarter and picked up 41 yards. Hunter then replaced Gore for the final offensive drive, rushing six more times for 45 yards, including a 33-yard gain.
Colin Kaepernick added 54 yards on seven carries, with two touchdowns to cap a strong day of running for the 49ers quarterback. HIs first touchdown saw him scramble to the left and dive for the end zone. At times this season there has been a certain tenuous nature to his running. There are some reports his foot injury was impacting him in some form or fashion. The Titans game cleared up a lot of that, and this game only added to the confidence. Even amidst the water-logged grass, Kap was looking sharp much of the game.
We have to save the best for last. While Hunter and Kap were more effective on the ground, Frank Gore's churning performance gets credit as he continues climbing the all-time leaderboards. Gore rushed for 71 yards on 19 carries, and had two rushing touchdowns. It was not a pretty performance, or the most efficient performance, but mixed in with Kap and Hunter, and it took care of business.
Gore now has 9,457 rushing yards for his career. That ranks No. 29 on the NFL's all-time list, and No. 30 if we factor in the old AAFC. I include that because 49ers legend Joe Perry factors in on that one. On that more all-inclusive list, Gore passed Earl Campbell and Shaun Alexander. He now sits 266 yards behind Perry, 466 yards behind Clinton Portis, and 543 yards shy of 10,000 career rushing yards. With eight games left this season, 68 yards per game will get him to the 10,000 yard mark. The next name on the list would then be Ricky Williams, who has 10,009 yards.
Gore also continued his climb up the all-time rushing touchdown leaderboard. His two scores give him 58 for his career, which is good for 47th all-time with Jamal Lewis and Mike Alstott. Guys ahead of him include Brandon Jacobs (59), Terrell Davis and Ahman Green (60), and O.J. Simpson and Herschel Walker (61).