When the Cardinals and the 49ers face off and play against one another on Monday Night Football, a player that most certainly that will have an impact is San Francisco running back Frank Gore. He has had some great games in the past against the Cardinals and is coming off a huge Week 7 performance.
He is getting older, but he is still the unquestioned number one guy. Continuing with our preview with Niners Nation writer Davud Fucillo, I asked him about Gore.
"Frank Gore remains the lead back, but the 49ers have given him more opportunities for rest. Gore is actually having a great season, averaging a career high 5.8 yards per carry, but part of that is due to the 49ers resting him a bit more. The team drafted Kendall Hunter last year and he put together a solid rookie campaign. His 112 carries last season were the most by a Frank Gore backup until then. This year, Hunter is on pace for a similar number of touches, but he is much more efficient with his carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, compared with 4.2 last season.
"I wouldn't call it a thunder and lightning type of duo because Gore is more of a mix of thunder and lightning. Hunter is not so much a change of pace back as he is just a guy who can effectively provide Gore with rest. He and Gore are both short guys, but Gore is a bit thicker. Hunter is actually a fairly powerful guy for his size, but there seems to be a bit more of a speed element to his game. At this point, Gore is averaging almost 15 carries a game, while Hunter is getting approximately seven per game. You'll see more of Gore, but keep an eye on Hunter, particularly on sweep plays."
Since the Cardinals are not elite run stuffers (they rank right in the middle of the pack statistically), this matchup is intriguing. Before last week, the defense had not allowed a 100-yard rusher, but stopping the run has not been the strength of the unit. Part of that is how they pull Dan Williams off the field and go with only two down linemen when they go nickel. Part is missing tackles and part is also teams having good running backs.
What do you think will be the result of the game with regards to Frank Gore and the running game for San Fran?