After a career where Frank Gore rushed for 16,000 yards, the former Miami Hurricane has announced his retirement from the National Football League. In 16 seasons, Gore was one of the most consistent running backs in the league.
Gore was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, rushed for over 1,000 yards nine times, and finished third in NFL history for career rushing yards. But what were his best games during his historically long career?
There is a big difference between Frank Gore and the other running backs who round out the top 10 in career rushing yards. Gore didn’t have that many games or seasons where he stood out as the best running back in the league. He was just always consistent.
5. Super Bowl XLVII vs Baltimore Ravens
During the 2011 season, Gore and the San Francisco 49ers had one of the best rushing attacks in the league en route to an 11-4-1 record and a spot in the playoffs. On the shoulders of a historic performance from quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the Niners blew out the Green Bay Packers. They then got two second-half touchdowns from Gore to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game to earn a spot in the Super Bowl.
The Baltimore Ravens jumped out to a big lead in the first half and Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown to give them a 28-6 lead. In a game that featured a power outage, the San Francisco running back was one of the few bright spots.
Gore rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in his only Super Bowl appearance during his career. His touchdown with five minutes left in the third quarter made the game a one-possession game at 28-20.
4. November 19, 2006 vs Seattle Seahawks
In just his second season in the NFL, Gore had his best season as a pro, rushing for 1,695 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 485 receiving yards on 61 receptions. Both yardage marks and his receptions would be his career highs.
The most important game for his rushing total would come in week 11 against the Seattle Seahawks. He began the team’s second drive with a 51-yard run that would lead to a field goal. He would have multiple 20-yard runs on one drive in the middle of the second quarter that would end with an Alex Smith touchdown run.
On the second drive of the second half for San Francisco, Gore would have his second 50-yard run of the game. He would end the game with 212 yards on 24 carries, the most rushing yards he would have in a single game during his career. He also caught four passes for 26 yards in the 20-14 victory.
3. January 12, 2013 vs Green Bay Packers - NFC Divisional Round
In his second trip to the playoffs in his career, Gore combined with Kaepernick ran wild on the Packers. In the divisional round against Green Bay, the quarterback and running back duo combined for 300 rushing yards and three touchdowns to win the game, 45-31.
The game began with fellow Hurricane Sam Shields returning an interception 51 yards for a touchdown. But there were no answers for the 49ers’ offense for the rest of the way, picking up 579 yards of offense.
Gore, though he was second on the team in rushing, picked up 119 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries in his first-career playoff win. He also caught two passes for 48 yards.
His best drive of the game came in the fourth quarter when San Francisco was trying to protect their lead. Up 38-24 with 11 minutes and 28 seconds remaining, The Niners put together an 11-play, 93-yard drive that lasted seven minutes and 54 seconds.
On that drive, Gore accounted for 45 yards on six carries including a 26-yard run that pushed them deep into Packers’ territory.
His 119 rushing yards and 48 receiving yards would both be postseason career-highs in his nine-game postseason career.
2. November 25, 2007 vs Arizona Cardinals
During his 16-season career, Gore had over 70 receiving yards just six times. Of those six times, he had over 90 rushing yards just once. In week 12 of the 2007 season, Gore rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries while also catching 11 passes for 98 yards.
His first touchdown on an 11-yard run put San Francisco up 17-7 five minutes into the second quarter. The Cardinals would fight back and take a 28-24 lead with nine minutes and 53 seconds left in the game.
On the 49ers’ final drive of regulation, it was Gore who came up clutch. With 85 seconds remaining, Gore ran to the right for a 35-yard touchdown to take a three-point lead. Kurt Warner would lead Arizona down the field for a field goal to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Both teams would struggle on offense in overtime with each team beginning with a punt. The 49ers would receive a huge break when Neil Rackers missed a 32-yard field goal to win the game. San Francisco would punt once again, but a penalty would pin the Cardinals at their own three-yard line. Ronald Fields would sack Warner, forcing a fumble in the end zone that would be recovered by Tully Banta-Cain for the game-winning touchdown.
1. September 20, 2009 vs Seattle Seahawks
Gore had the second 200-yard rushing game in week two of the 2007 season against the Seattle Seahawks, the same team he had his first against. He carried the ball just 16 times and picked up 207 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 39 yards from Shaun Hill.
It’s Seahawks week…— Coach Yac (@Coach_Yac) September 28, 2021
Throwback to Frank Gore’s touchdown runs of 79 and 80 yards against Seattle. He became only the second player in NFL history to have two TD runs of 79 or more yards in the same game, joining Barry Sanders. #49ers pic.twitter.com/ckZmR8OBsE
He had 103 yards at the end of the first quarter thanks to a 79-yard touchdown run where he outran the entire Seahawks secondary. On the first play of the second half, Gore struck again, running for an 80-yard touchdown up the middle.
His 12.9 yards per attempt for the game was the highest for a single game in his career and tied his career-high with two touchdowns. The 80-yard run was the longest of Gore’s career with the 79-yarder being the second-longest run.