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Morning Tailgate: Ground Game Focus

Posted Sep 23, 2013

Frank Gore had his best outing of the 2013 season, but it could have been a more productive performance in the mind of the 49ers all-time leading rusher.

Frank Gore had his best outing of the 2013 season, but it could have been a more productive performance in the mind of the 49ers all-time leading rusher.

Gore carried the ball 11 times for 82 yards in 27-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The ninth-year pro averaged 7.5 yards per carry. It was a big statistical improvement for the hard-running veteran who entered the game averaging 2.0 yards per carry in 2013.

GAME PHOTOS: 49ERS VS. COLTS

Gore’s production came mostly in the first half. In the second half, Gore touched the ball four times, he carried the ball three times on the opening drive of the third quarter and he caught one pass on the 49ers final drive of the game.

“We just haven’t made plays,” Gore said after the 49ers dropped to 1-2, the first sub .500 record in Jim Harbaugh’s NFL coaching career. “We’ve got to look at ourselves and see what’s going on, and see what we’re not doing right. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got a great coordinator. We’ve just got to keep driving and getting in a rhythm. We’re getting out of rhythm going three-and-out, and that’s hard when you’re not getting in any type of rhythm.”

San Francisco’s ground game was a talking point on several NFL highlight shows.

“The San Francisco 49ers fooled us,” Hall of Fame cornerback and former 49ers Pro Bowler, Deion Sanders said on NFL Network. “This team was so good a year ago and they surprised us. (This season) we really thought they would just take everything to the next level, especially with that tease in Week 1.”

“They won’t make a commitment to the run,” Sanders added. 

Gore felt like Thursday night's game in St. Louis was going to be good medicine for the 49ers. It gives the team an opportunity to bounce back right away against the only NFC West team they did not beat last season. But more importantly, it's a chance to get back to .500 in the win-loss column.

"We've got to look at ourselves," Gore said.

More headlines from the 49ers loss can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle looked at San Francisco’s offensive execution in the defeat.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News dished out grades from the loss.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee examined the performance of the 49ers rushing attack.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com discussed Patrick Willis’ groin injury and the likelihood of Willis playing this Thursday night.

Andrew Pentis of 49ers.com shared the comments of CEO Jed York on linebacker Aldon Smith.



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