I can count on one hand the number of former San Francisco 49ers players I didn't root for when they left to play for another team. Former 49ers running back Frank Gore will never, ever make that list.
Gore is the best running back to ever play for the 49ers, and it was incredibly difficult to see him go this offseason. It's almost as difficult to watch him play for an Indianapolis Colts team that likely lured him with the promise of leading a backfield straight into the playoffs.
He was one of the missing pieces, one of the things that would elevate the Colts to the next level and allow them to compete with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos in the AFC. But the Colts are struggling big time, and would need a miracle to make the playoffs (11 different things need to happen for them to make it, for the record).
Fortunately, I doubt Gore will ever look back on his career and consider himself a failure. In fact, he's nearing a very significant career milestone, and smart money is on him getting it in Week 17. After Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, Gore is at 11,964 career rushing yards, good for 15th all time in the NFL.
Plus, Gore looked a lot like vintage Gore on Sunday against the Dolphins (It is also worth noting this was Gore's first NFL game in his hometown). Gore had 85 yards on 15 carries, and he had a pair of touchdowns, including the beauty above. At work yesterday, a coworker quipped that Gore probably has the most rushing yards while falling down in NFL history and if someone told me that was an actual stat, I'd believe them.
I'm not sure where Gore will end up on the list of all-time rushing leaders. There are several guys within striking distance of him, and if he plays another season, he could conceivably make it as high as seventh, where Eric Dickerson currently sits. As far as him being passed, Adrian Peterson is only a couple hundred yards behind him and I imagine he will pass Gore at some point.
Still, the most important thing now is that Gore, in his 11th season, is nearing 12,000 yards and should hit it next week. Gore has 11,964 yards and a per-carry average of 4.5 yards for his career. He also has 68 touchdowns.