Fran..."/> Fran..."/>

Frank Gore Could Soon Join Barry Sanders in Elite RB Company


According to, Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore could soon former Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders in elite rushing company after this season.

Gore just needs one more consecutive season of rushing for a 4.0+ yards per carry (ypc) average to tie Sanders with 10 consecutive seasons of such:

Currently, Gore is tied with Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown with 9 consecutive seasons of 4.0+ ypc average, which is a great feat in its own right. It’s a testament to Gore’s longevity, durability, and productivity, as both Sanders and Brown are among the greatest running backs to ever play the position in the NFL.

Aug 2, 2015; Anderson, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore (23) walks across the field during training camp at Anderson University. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In Gore’s case, he has never had a season in which he’s rushed for less than a 4.0+ ypc average, dating all the way back to his rookie season in 2005. It’s worth noting though that as Gore enters his 11th NFL season, he may have not had the minimum rushing attempts to qualify as a rookie with only 127 carries. Leaving him with technically only 9 seasons of rushing for a 4.0+ ypc average instead.

Like Sanders, who surprisingly retired after 10 NFL seasons, Gore has never not rushed for a 4.0+ ypc average during his NFL tenure. However, unlike Sanders, Gore is still playing beyond his 10th NFL season at the age of 32, compared to when Sanders retired at 30.

Still, to be in the conversation with Sanders is a great compliment in itself. He was one of the most dominating running backs of all time, with his sharp cuts, spin moves, and electrifying speed. Quite frankly, he’s the best running back I’ve ever had the luxury of watching play live and was an annual treat on Thanksgiving day games.

Sep 8, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions former player Barry Sanders before the game against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a good chance Sanders may have become the NFL’s all-time leading rusher had he not shockingly retired still seemingly in his prime. Currently, he is the NFL’s 3rd all-time leading rusher with 15,269 total career rushing yards. He trails other former rushing greats in the Dallas Cowboys Emmitt Smith (18,355 career rushing yards) and Chicago Bears Walter Payton (16,726 career rushing yards), who played for 15 and 13 seasons respectively to reach such marks.

Nevertheless, Gore has become a great running himself. He’s rushed for over 1,000 rushing yards in 8 of his 10 seasons in the NFL and hasn’t missed a regular season start in 3 seasons. At the age of 31, he once again  exceeded the millennium mark, as Gore had 1,106 rushing yards with the 49ers last season.

Now 32 years old, Gore will look to join Sanders in elite running back company, while surpassing Brown in the process. It’s a monumental feat for the longtime 49ers running back and is a testament to his own greatness, with seemingly no real end in sight.

Aug 2, 2015; Anderson, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) hands the ball off to running back Frank Gore (23) during training camp at Anderson University. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

More from Horseshoe Heroes