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49ers vs. Colts: San Francisco needs to get running game going sooner rather than later

The San Francisco 49ers need Frank Gore and the running game to step up against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.


The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, and if the 49ers want to win, a good start would be to do the exact opposite of what they did against the Seattle Seahwks in Week 2. The defense needs to step its game up, and the offense ... well the offense has a lot to do.

Colin Kaepernick panicked nearer the end of that game, and made a lot of bad decisions. He missed open receivers, he didn't progress through his reads and he held the football like he didn't care what happened to it. But that's something that wasn't the case in Week 1, and we're not going to focus on that today.

Today we're going to talk about running back Frank Gore. The last time I checked, the 49ers were considered a power running team. Last year, the rushing attack got them far, and it was the only thing that ever kept the 49ers close in games before they were ... very good.

San Francisco didn't abandon the rush in Week 2. Gore carried the ball 16 times, after all. What they did do was fail spectacularly at looking like they've ever practiced any of the plays they pulled off. The offensive line has been pass blocking well, from what I can tell, but the run blocking has been sub par.

There's missed assignments and offensive linemen going backwards when they should be going forward. There's no holes to run through. But even worse than all this has been the play-calling. What is the one way one should attack the Seahawks n the ground? With outside rushes. So what did the 49ers primarily do? They ran the ball inside for much of the game.

And when they ran it outside, they always did these weird ticky-tacky plays with Gore taking steps back and then trying to go forward. No crack blocks, no counters or anything like that ... just very poor and poorly-disguised outside runs. There was no sign of Kendall Hunter, either.

On top of all of this ... Gore looks slow. I don't think he's done, nor do I think he's lost a step for any particular reason. I just think there's all kinds of things wrong with this attack right now. Kaepernick is perfectly able to win some games, and as I mentioned on Friday, we'll likely see a lot of that if he draws another matchup with Erik Walden.

But he needs a running game, and he needs it now. It cant kick in later. It needs to be now. The Colts have been decent against running backs thus far this season, holding Darren McFadden and Lamar Miller to just over 100 yards combined. Gore will have to do better against the Colts than those players did. And he certainly is able to.