Well it may have finally happened. We have have seen the changing of the guard in the San Francisco 49ers backfield today as Carlos Hyde took a handoff and found the end zone with just under 3 minutes left the the 49ers game against Washington. People have been predicting the fall of Frank Gore for the past several seasons, yet Gore kept proving the experts wrong year after year. In 2011 Gore ran for 1,211 yards and 8 touchdowns. The next year he ran for 1,214 yards and 8 more scores. Last season Gore gained 1,128 yards on the ground and found the end zone 9 times. The man just wouldn’t be stopped. But last May the 49ers selected running back Carlos Hyde out of Ohio State in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft, signaling that Gore’s time was coming to an eventual end.
On October 5, Gore ran for 107 yards in a win over the Kansas City Chiefs. That was the last time he eclipsed the century mark, something he’s only done twice this season. While he has had a couple of strong performances in recent weeks, his 36 yard outing against a below average Redskins team may have began the process of him giving way to Hyde. Neither Gore nor Hyde had a particularly productive day against Washington, The 49ers chose to go with Hyde with the game on the line, even after he fumbled earlier in the game. Gore only has 648 yards and 2 scores this season, putting him on pace for 942 yards and 3 touchdowns, a huge downgrade from his usual productivity. His carries are slowly dropping and Hyde is starting to find his legs. Add it all up, and it points to the end of an era by the Bay. Frank Gore has been a warrior through and through, but his body may finally be letting him down. Of course we’ve been wrong about him before.