Frank Gore may be third all-time in carries and yards by the end of the year

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Bills running back Frank Gore is in a position to find himself in very elite company by the end of this season.

Gore is within one solid year of being third in NFL history in both career carries and career rushing yards, trailing only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton in both categories.

Gore has 3,382 carries for 14,748 yards in his career. He’s 136 carries behind Curtis Martin for the third-most rushing attempts in NFL history and 521 yards behind Barry Sanders for the third-most rushing yards in NFL history.

Although the 36-year-old Gore has virtually no shot of catching Payton for second place in either category, moving into the top three would be a remarkable achievement. Gore’s longevity is particularly impressive given that a knee injury he suffered in 2002 while playing college football at Miami was considered a red flag before he was drafted.

The 36-year-old Gore can’t keep playing forever, and given how crowded the Bills’ backfield is (with LeSean McCoy the starter and T.J. Yeldon and rookie Devin Singletary both competing with Gore for playing time as a backup), it’s easy to see Gore having more limited carries this year than at any other point in his career. But it is also easy to see Gore having at least 136 carries for 521 yards, which would put him behind only Smith and Payton in NFL history.

35 responses to “Frank Gore may be third all-time in carries and yards by the end of the year

  1. One of the most underrated and overlooked careers in history. Curtis Martin comes to mind and Curtis was probably more “popular” nationally.

  2. Anyone who labels Frank Gore a bust needs checking! He is still an amazing talent who WILL average 4+ yards per carry for the Bills!

  3. “But it is also easy to see Gore having at least 136 carries for 521 yards, which would put him behind only Smith and Payton in NFL history.”

    I respectively disagree. With that stable of RBs, I can’t see him getting the carries.

  4. Gore is a living legend. He toiled anonymously on many lousy 49ers teams while being the only real offensive threat and still managed to be a difference maker. That he has managed to play this long after tearing both ACLs in college is mind-boggling and a testament to his work ethic. Death, taxes and Frank Gore staying low and falling forwards to pick up four yards are the only constants in life.

  5. Actually, Gore’s longevity is even more impressive when you remember that he followed up that knee injury with plenty of other dings and misses games through his first SIX NFL seasons. He somehow then went SEVEN straight seasons starting at age 28 without missing a game.

    He deserves a hat tip for that, but we should also not confuse longevity for excellence. Someone above makes a Curtis Martin comp, but Martin averaged 1337 yards a season over a full decade back when the not-yet-open passing game lent defenses to focus on stopping the run with massive DTs and downhill LBs. Outside of a huge second season, Gore’s career HIGH in yards in a season 1214 yards. It’s not insult to Gore to acknowledge him as belonging in the “Hall Of Very Good”, though I’m pretty certain that he’ll gain HOF entry nonetheless.

  6. Gore’s career has been crazy to me. I remember when he was in college and was hurt all the time. I really thought he would come in the NFL, get hurt and maybe bounce around as a backup for a couple years and then be gone. His durability and consistency in the NFL has been quite impressive.

  7. Along with Bettis, will go down as the most overrated nothing at the position ever.

    Had very little impact on any team or in any game he ever played in.

    No one can even name a big play he has made.

    Longevity and consistency is great, but in an easier offensive era, the most unimpressive stat padder ever.

    Roger Craig goes into the HOF before this stat padder should ever even sniff it.

    Fantasy football production is not a HOF career.

  8. Curtis Martin got 4 more attempts per game than Gore and averaged almost a half a yard less per attempt.

    Gore is the only player in NFL history to go for over 1200 yards 12 seasons in a row.

    Guy isn’t spectacular but he deserves a gold jacket.

  9. This is part of the problem with how statistics can at times unduly influence assessment of “greatness”

    He has played for many years. Subsequently he has a lot of carries and yards.

    Longevity does not equal athletic supremacy.

  10. 1,200 yards from scrimmage 12 years in the row.

    No other player has gone over 1,200 10 times in a career let alone in a row.

  11. Gore had a great career but probably not a Hall of Fame career. Someone linke Edgerrin James probably has a better case but he’s not in either.

  12. Pola pe’a says:
    July 6, 2019 at 10:46 am
    Curtis Martin got 4 more attempts per game than Gore and averaged almost a half a yard less per attempt.

    Gore is the only player in NFL history to go for over 1200 yards 12 seasons in a row.

    Guy isn’t spectacular but he deserves a gold jacket.

    ————-

    gore played in an easier era

  13. Mad respect for being able to take a pounding for that long and achieve what he has…and further will!

  14. Running back is the one position in football where I go with the “know it when I see it” in terms of greatness. Frank Gore has been a really good RB for a long time. But stats can be deceiving at that position. Are you on a great team that could run the ball more often, the offense you played in, etc… True great backs are the guys that make yards on their own where others could not. Even when they knew you were getting the ball. For me, that puts Earl Campbell, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and Eric Dickerson in the “elite” category. They literally carried their offenses and defenses couldn’t stop them anyway.

  15. A good test for greatness is to put on a career highlights package and see what it looks like. I don’t think Gore’s would be overly impressive. Good but not jaw-dropping.

    For all the Bettis naysayers, his highlight reel still gets me pumped every time. On top of that, how many of Bettis’ carries were when everyone knew he was getting the ball? His YPC is probably deflated by 0.5 as a result of this over his career. It also probably took 2-3 years off his career with the hits he took and dished. His style of play also made his teammates an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier.

  16. The numbers say he’s a hall of famer…

    However the eye test says he’s not…

    At no point in Gores career was he ever a top 5 RB in the league…At no point in Gores career did anyone watch and think they were watching someone special…

    The Hall of Fame should be reserved for a combination of elite special talent, stats, and accolades/achievements…Gore only has 1 of the 3 credentials…

  17. Ask Pete Carroll about Frank Gore. Ask other top-tier players – they all speak of Frank with reverence. There were many seasons where he *was* the offense.

    Driven competitor, consummate professional. Delivered in the clutch. This guy belongs in the Hall.

  18. .
    anyone who has had Gore on their fantasy team sees why he is still playing
    the dude takes himself out of the game every single time he exerts any effort…
    Gore breaks it and down on the 2, as u see gore wave to the sideline that he is tired and needs to sit out the next 3 plays…

  19. 2ruefan says:
    July 6, 2019 at 10:49 am
    This is part of the problem with how statistics can at times unduly influence assessment of “greatness”

    He has played for many years. Subsequently he has a lot of carries and yards.

    Longevity does not equal athletic supremacy.
    ____________

    Type ‘Frank Gore highlights’ into your search bar. If you have 13 minutes. Guarantee you’ll change your tune about athletic supremacy.

  20. Longevity and availability account for something. Frank Gore is a workhorse, year in and year out. As a running back and there are only three people who have more yardage than him in the history of the game, he deserves to have a gold jacket.

  21. I see the Bills using a two back timeshare with McCoy and Gore this year. Yeldon has a slim chance of making the team after the Bills drafted McCoy’s heir in Devin Singletary. A low cap hit for Yeldon makes that chance slimmer.

    Singletary will get a few reps here and there his rookie season, but nothing compared to Gore.

    Gore should definitely have the opportunity to make his move to 3rd all-time.

  22. Looks like a lot of commenters that haven’t played tackle football. Frank Gore is a man’s man and you can ask any teammate or opponent and they will tell you the same.

  23. No way he should be in the Hall. He was good but not great. He’s the RB equivalent of Vinny Testaverde. Vinny is 6th all time in passing yards and 7th all time in TDs. Nobody thinks Vinny should be in the HOF and Gore should not be either.

  24. Never once went pulled up YouTube and said to my son, “you gotta watch this Frank Gore highlight reel.” He’ll get to third but, no one will ever confuse him with the guy he passed.

  25. You clowns think someone has 3-4 good years and get a ring or two they automatically go to Canton …… morons
    Turdell Davis fans are ridiculous…… Gote played in this over ridiculous pass happy NFL yet just very good —— Most of these QB’s you praise in the last 12-15 years would have been dead long ago if they played in the 70’s-80’s or 90’s…..

  26. tylawspick6 says:
    July 6, 2019 at 10:45 am
    Along with Bettis, will go down as the most overrated nothing at the position ever.
    Had very little impact on any team or in any game he ever played in.
    No one can even name a big play he has made.
    Longevity and consistency is great, but in an easier offensive era, the most unimpressive stat padder ever.
    Roger Craig goes into the HOF before this stat padder should ever even sniff it.
    Fantasy football production is not a HOF career.
    =================================================================================
    The fact is you’ve probably never really seen Gore play, and you probably paid very little attention to Roger Craig’s career as well. The guy is hardly a stat padder (which occurs at garbage time of games), has overcome major injury obstacles, and was an integral part of the 49ers playoff teams, averaged over 100 yards from scrimmage in 8 playoff games, scored the last 2 TD’s in the 49ers 28-24 win over the Falcons in the 2012 NFCCG. Whether or not the guy is HOF-worthy remains to be seen, but calling a guy with his career an “overrated nothing” and a “stat-padder” is the apex of ignorance.

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