There were a few disappointments from the Cardinals game. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I find it pretty easy to locate and dwell upon disappointments even after a win. Of course I relish the win, but I also think about the parts of the game that could have gone much differently.
I think most people on this website feel the same way, judging by the comments on post-game threads. Recently, we, as a group of fans, have been up in arms over the offensive play calling (and for good reason, too - this isn't a criticism at all). While I did find the play calling to be distressing, especially considering how ultra-conservative it was, that wasn't the biggest disappointment of the day for me.
I really wanted Frank Gore to get to his 10,000 rushing yards. I know that, realistically, he is not a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame, unless he has another three or so really productive seasons. But the homer in me thinks he should probably be enshrined already. I desperately want him to make it, and the earlier he reaches milestones (like 10,000 rushing yards), the stronger his case will be.
And even though the Cardinals have one of the best front sevens in the NFL, I really thought he was going to do it. So, yeah, I was a bit disappointed. To see him sitting at 9,967 at the end of the season is a bit of a letdown.
That said, the postseason is always the best way for a player to make a case for himself. We saw this, though in a much different context, last season with Colin Kaepernick. He had a bit of a "hey guys, check this out" party on a national stage last year against the Packers. And this generated a ton of attention.
I think Gore can do something similar. Obviously, he is already known at a national level: it seems like, in fact, that the national media's conception of him is "don't underrate this guy, he's still really good." And this is a good reputation to have.
But Gore has the talent to take this team upon his bell-cow shoulders and carry them through the playoffs. And, this would be huge for his Hall candidacy. A Super Bowl MVP (not that I am projecting too much; don't want to jinx it), would be a huge argument in his favor. Even just a ring would go a long way in nudging the voters in the right direction.
And this can start against the Packers. Much ado about the cold weather: that's the theme of this week, it seems. We will have to see on Sunday if the cold weather goes the way of Shakespeare's comedy and ends up being nothing. Or, the cold weather might really be a pressing concern, and all this ado will have been about something of importance.
Either way, though, I think Gore plays a big part in the offensive game plan, though probably more so if the weather is cold. While he has seen his numbers drop off ever so slightly this year (his 4.1 yards per rushing attempts is a bit lower than his career 4.6), I think he is primed and ready to have an effective postseason. And if he can be a superstar, starting on Sunday at Green Bay, then he will make up for missing that 10,000 yard milestone last week.
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