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Frank Gore led NFL running backs in facing eight in the box

The 49ers are developing a dominant offense, but there particular use of formations led to a lot of eight men in the box for Frank Gore. We take a look at what it all means.


I was puttering around Twitter today (as I do most days!), and I came across an interesting tweet. The folks at Pro Football Focus asked which running back faced the highest percentage of eight defenders in the box. The 49ers very own Frank Gore took home top honors:

There were various follow-up tweets with various details that provide a little more context. For example, Gore faced eight men in the box 37.8% of the time when Alex Smith was starting, and 46.6% of the time when Kaepernick was starting.

Here was another interesting stat:

And Joe Staley had his own retort on all this:

It will be interesting to see how defenses handle the 49ers multi-faceted offensive attack in 2013. Defenses can load up in the box, but if it opens up the edges for the read option, they will continue to struggle against the 49ers. I imagine Greg Roman is keeping plenty busy preparing for how the 49ers will counter defensive adjustments.