Gore didn’t seem to mind.
“I’m doing whatever it takes to help my team win,” the running back said.
In Tampa Bay, that included his usual dose of dependable pass-blocking – and enough yardage to cross the 1,000-yard mark.
With 86 yards on 22 carries in the 49ers 33-14 road win over the Buccaneers, Gore went into quadruble digits for the seventh time in his nine-year career. A fourth-quarter carry for five yards to the 48-yard line put him at 1,000 on the dot. He finished at 1,017.
“It’s a blessing,” Gore told reporters postgame. “Ninth year in the league. Every year, I hear the doubters: ‘Can he still do it?’
“I’m taking it one year at a time. Coaches still believe in me, the organization still believes in me.”
The franchise's all-time leading rusher has a body of work that forces them to.
The veteran ball carrier became the 20th rusher in NFL history to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in a season seven times.
Only the Atlanta Falcons’ Steven Jackson (eight) has more such seasons among active players.
With 42 consecutive starts under his belt, Gore also has the longest current streak among the NFL’s active running backs.
Gore was just one aspect of a running game that was working from start to finish for an offensive unit at large that coordinator Greg Roman had instructed to “start fast” opposite an opportunistic Bucs defense.
While Gore, broke a 13-yard run, his teammates contributed even longer “chunk plays,” to borrow Roman’s parlance.
“We’ve taken small steps,” Gore said. “We still haven’t played our best game. That’s the scary part.
“Whatever it takes to get into this tournament and get the trophy.”