The San Francisco 49ers put together another strong ground performance on Sunday, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs thanks in large part to Frank Gore's 107 yard performance. This game marked Gore's 37th 100-yard performance, and moved him up to 10,332 career yards. He moved past Ottis Anderson into 26th place on the all time rushing list. Next up in Gore's sights are No. 25 Eddie George (10,441) and No. 24 Tiki Barber (10,449). 118 yards against the Rams would move Gore past both backs.
What is particularly interesting this season is that Gore is currently ranked fifth in the NFL in rushing, with 365 yards. Alfred Morris could have moved past him, but a poor effort against the Seattle Seahawks leaves him at No. 6. Rashad Jennings is currently fourth with 396 yards, and he will miss at least a couple games with an MCL sprain. Gore has some solid career numbers against the St. Louis Rams, averaging 4.43 yards per carry. That is just below his career 4.56 yards per carry.
The 49ers are now 13-0 under Jim Harbaugh in games in which Frank Gore surpasses 100 yards. They can win when he doesn't surpass 100 yards, but generally speaking they are in a great position when Gore is slicing and dicing defenses. Aside from Week 3's 6 carry, 10 yard performance, Gore has surpassed 4.0 yards per carry in each game. His low was 4.1 in the opener, but since he averaged 4.8 in Week 2, 5.0 in Week 4 and 5.9 in Week 5. Gore averaged 4.1 yards per carry last season, but has bounced back to 4.7 this year.
Gore spoke briefly with the media after the game, joining Colin Kaepernick at the interview podium. He had a great line when asked about the team's second half domination on the ground. The 49ers had 13 carries for 65 yards in the first half, and then 27 carries for 106 yards in the second half. Gore had 70 of those second half yards.
Matt Barrows made a good point in his film review. After an 8-yard run put Gore over 100 yards, he apparently got up kind of slow. The 49ers brought in Carlos Hyde for the next two runs, before Kap ran and threw an incomplete pass to end that final "full" drive (kneel-downs after that). Hyde finished with a solid 43 yards on 10 carries, marking his best performance since 50 yards in Week 1. After not giving him much work in Weeks 2 and 3 (7 total carries), the team has given him ten carries in each of the last two games.
The 49ers can potentially start working Marcus Lattimore into the mix as well next week, but for now, they are in good shape with their two-headed running back monster. There is no word on how quickly Lattimore will be brought back into the mix this season, but it creates some intriguing possibilities for an already impressive 49ers ground game.
Frank, maybe you can answer this? Big difference then last week, some unquestionable and some questionable offensive penalties with hand placement in some blocks and what not. Anything significant that changed this week? Anything you guys practiced this week, as far as techniques with that, to avoid those?
Gore: "No, we didn't, we didn't."
Frank, what does it mean to you to be able to dominate a second half on the ground like that? What does it say about this team?
Gore: "We some dogs. Our o-line, they played great. We have to give it up to them. Like I said, 49er football, do whatever it takes. We knew that we had to eat up the clock and we did. Me and Carlos did a great job on the ground, and like I said earlier, Kap did a great job in the air. So, we just played great team ball."
Frank, obviously, if you guys had the answer you'd fix it, but can you put your finger on anything yet as far as why you guys slow down inside the red zone?
Gore: "I can't answer that. We have to get better. Watch the tape and clean up whatever it is. We just have to get better."
You're a Miami guy, but how hot was it out there?
Gore: "Oh man, it was hot, but I like it like that though. I like it like that."