Frank Gore and the frustrations of the 49ers run game

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers rushed the ball 16 times in the first half, and only seven times in the second half. Frank Gore was seen getting angry with Coach Harbaugh late in the game, but is that really a surprise? What can we make of all this?

Yesterday afternoon, following the 49ers 27-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco Chronicle writer Kevin Lynch tweeted out that Frank Gore was seen getting angry at 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh late in the game. As Gore was heading onto the field near the end of the game, Lynch said he had "choice words" for Harbaugh.

This has popped in the comments, and there is some question about the state of the team. However, given that Frank Gore only had four touches (three rushes, one reception) in the second half, this is not a surprising player response. It could get magnified by the team's existing struggles, but I don't think that is really the concern we should have.

The bigger concern is the simple fact that the run game was abandoned in the second half. In the first half, the 49ers rushed 16 times for 102 yards. In the second half, the 49ers rushed seven times for 13 yards. In the first half, Frank Gore had eight rushes for 70 yards, and was having his way with the Colts defense. And this should not have surprised anybody given the injury issues throughout the Colts defense. They were primed to be run on.

In the second half, Frank Gore had three rushes on the opening drive, one pass reception on the final drive, and nothing else. Kendall Hunter had one rush late in the third quarter and one rush early in the fourth quarter.

Considering the numerous question marks at wide receiver, and Kap's general struggles with accuracy and decision-making the last couple weeks, it was surprising to see them abandon the run so quickly. Whether you want to blame the wide receivers or Kap in terms of the execution issues, the play-calling deserves plenty of discussion.

The simple answer is to just blame Greg Roman, given that he is one of the primary play-callers. But is it really that simple? I wish I knew.

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