This will be the first in a long series this season breaking down every player. Typical wisdom would say to start at QB, but too many series start with that position, so we’re going to be unconventional and start with the RBs. First up is starter, Frank Gore.
Frank Gore; 34; 13th season; 2005-14 San Francisco 49ers, 14-17 Indianapolis Colts
16 games; 263 carries; 1,025 yards; 3.9 ypc; 4 touchdowns; 38 rec; 277 yards; 4 touchdowns
Frank Gore bounced back from his first career season with less than 1,000 yards and 16 games played by becoming the first Colts back with over 1,000 yards since Joseph Addai in 2007. Although most backs tend to slow down at age 30, Gore continues to trudge right along.
He may not be the human battering ram that averaged 5.4 ypc his second year in the league, but he keeps rolling right along week in and week out never averaging fewer than 3.7 ypc over the course of a season. The Colts brought in Marlon Mack to presumably lighten Gore’s load, but this is still Gore’s team and his backfield. Not many running backs can boast the statistical and health consistency that Gore has been able to put up since he entered the league 12 years ago.
Since 2005, he has 13,153 yards, just under 1,400 more yards than the next leading active rusher, Adrian Peterson. He has also only missed 12 total games out of a possible 192. Mack is set up to succeed and learn behind one of the best and most consistent running backs in the last 15 years. He will dominate the touches throughout the year, barring injury or unseen exceptional production out of Mack. Gore won’t be able to run forever, which is why Marlon Mack is most likely the future at the RB position for the Colts and will be groomed in the wings until Gore is no longer a productive running back.
With Andrew Luck being out and no set timetable for his return, Gore should see a larger workload as long as the Colts try to remain competitive and stay close in games. They’ll try and run the clock out and win games 17-14 every week if they can, as they’re just not the same high-scoring offense that they are when Andrew Luck is on the field. He’ll be running behind a line that’s had a year to mesh together. Prior to Denzelle Good’s injury, they were returning four starters, albeit a couple at different positions. Taking this into account, they should be headed in the right direction, which is good news for Gore. The Colts are well-coached and will remain competitive throughout the year and being in close games will be good for Frank Gore, as this sets him up to continue marching through the record books.
2017 Stats Predictions
16 games; 244 carries; 964 yards; 3.9 ypc; 4 touchdowns; 40 rec; 265 yards; 2 touchdowns
When we come back, we’ll be looking at Rookie 4th round pick Marlon Mack.