Frank Gore is +8500 to lead the NFL in rushing this season & while he will certainly add to the Colt's offense we are skeptical at his chances of contending for a rushing title.
Gore An All-Time 49er
Gore suffered a major knee injury twice while at the University of Miami, so it hurt his draft stock. He was the 65th overall pick in the 2005 draft by San Francisco. And Gore has been very durable as a professional. He has played all 16 games five times in his career, including the past four. He never played fewer than 11. Not bad for someone who was considered a major injury risk entering the NFL.
With the Niners, Gore had eight 1,000-yard seasons. The only season over the past nine in which he failed to reach that number was 2010, when he missed five games with a broken hip. His best year was in 2006 when he set career highs with 312 carries, 1,695 yards and 5.4 yards per carry. He added eight touchdowns as well as 61 catches for 485 yards. Last year, Gore rushed 255 times for 1,106 yards and four scores. He hasn't been used much in the passing game the past two years. Gore is San Francisco's all-time leading rusher with 11,073 yards and is No. 2 to Joe Perry with 64 rushing scores.
So why didn't the 49ers try and keep him off the free-agent market? They had young Carlos Hyde waiting in the wings, and Gore is now 32 years old. There is statistical proof that a majority of excellent NFL running backs start a huge downward trend at age 30. But there are exceptions to every rule.
Colts Offered Better Super Bowl Shot
So Gore was expected to sign a three-year, $7.5 million deal with the Eagles to replace the traded LeSean McCoy as the team's featured back. But the five-time Pro Bowler had a last-minute change of heart. And it worked out financially as Gore got a three-year, $12 million deal from Indianapolis. Money talks, folks. Although Gore gave different reasons for picking Indy.
"I always wanted to come play for the Colts. I thought they had a [more] similar offense than the Eagles did," he said. "Every year with Andrew Luck being the quarterback, they've taken a step in the playoffs. So I feel like before I leave this game I want to win a championship and I think this team is the best situation for me to get there."
The Colts also have plenty of University of Miami ties. Coach Chuck Pagano and associate head coach Rob Chudzinski both spent time on the Hurricanes' coaching staff. The team also added former Hurricanes and Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson, an ex-teammate of Gore's, in free agency. Gore also said he liked the type of scheme offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton runs. Hamilton was on former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's staff at Stanford. Gore does appear a better fit the Colts' power running scheme. The Eagles, meanwhile, generally prefer speedier backs who threaten the edge of the defense. Gore (5-foot-9, 217 pounds) isn't all that fast these days.
That Luck has been so sensational in his first three NFL seasons without a strong running game just shows what type of talent he is. The Colts finished 22nd in the league in rushing last season using guys like Trent Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw (both gone now) and Daniel "Boom" Herron, who will back up Gore in 2015. Indy also hasn't had a player rush for 100 yards in a game since the 2012 season.
While the Colts are clearly going to throw plenty with Luck and receivers such as Johnson, T.Y. Hilton and 2015 first-round pick Phillip Dorsett (another former Hurricane), Gore should be a workhorse. He averaged only 16 carries per game in 2014 and got more than 20 attempts just four times. Two of those were in the final two weeks when San Francisco was already eliminated from the playoffs. The Colts led the league in pass attempts in 2014, but I don't expect that to be the case with Gore on hand (although Indy won't slip far).
NFL Free Pick: Gore is a fine player, but his age is concerning as his is offensive line. The Colts know they are going to win or lose on Luck's arm. Gore is not a smart pick whatsoever on this NFL prop bet for 2015.