I'm not even sure what to call the San Francisco 49ers offense at this point. Are they a run-first team, or a pass-first team? They certainly have found more success running the football this season, but it always seems like the fanbase is thinking they should be passing when they're running and running when they're passing.
Whatever the case, one thing has been true for the 49ers for much of this season: when Frank Gore is running well, the 49ers are winning football games. Colin Kaepernick running the ball as well to supplement Gore is always a bonus, but when Gore struggles, the 49ers have lost or struggled significantly and when he's on ... well the result is the opposite.
The first time the 49ers played the Seattle Seahawks this year, Gore had just nine carries, and picked up a whopping 16 yards. That's a per-carry average of 1.8 yards, which is pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel. San Francisco was dominated in that game, though Gore wasn't exactly responsible for Kaepernick's three interceptions.
In the win, however, Gore had 17 carries for 110 yards, good for a per-carry average of 6.5 yards. He helped move the chains in close situations and while Kaepernick didn't have a huge game passing, he definitely aided the passing game with his running. He's called The Inconvenient Truth for a reason ... he's going to get his yards, and the 49ers are going to benefit.
San Francisco is 2-0 against the Seahawks when Gore runs for 100 yards over the past two seasons, and are 0-2 otherwise.
If San Francisco really wants to get ahead of the Seahawks at home, then yes, they'll need to throw the ball. Early on, they might even need to light up the Seahawks secondary if they can manage. Ultimately though, they'll need Gore to move the chains. If the Seahawks key in on Gore, it will be a long, long day.
Seattle's secondary is too good to throw on for an entire game. But I personally think Gore will have a big game ... then again, I'm a 49ers fan.
- 2014 East-West Shrine Game Prospect Report
- 49ers vs. Seahawks: Breaking down the 'holding' issue
- Niners Nation Podcast: PFF weighs-in on Panthers, Seahawks games
- 49ers vs. Panthers Rewind: Adjustments in the passing game key to San Francisco victory
- Mel Kiper mock draft 2014: The coiffed one drops goes wide receiver for 49ers