Frank Gore: Ranking the Pro Bowl RB’s 4 Best Seasons

It’s extremely difficult to outlast Father Time, but Frank Gore undoubtedly gave it his best shot. The five-time Pro Bowl running back is reportedly calling it quits after 16 NFL seasons.

According to the SFNiners Youtube channel, Gore plans to sign a one-day contract with the San Francisco 49ers and then retire from football. The former Miami Hurricanes spent his first 10 seasons with the Niners before stints with the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and New York Jets.

The 38-year-old running back has rushed for 16,000 yards and 81 touchdowns during his NFL career. Gore will retire with the third-most rushing yards in league history, behind Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. He’s done some impressive things in the league, but which campaigns stand out the most.

Here are the four best seasons of Frank Gore’s career.

49ers running back Frank Gore looks on during a game
Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers on the field before game against the Oakland Raiders | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

4. 2011

The San Francisco 49ers were undoubtedly one of the best teams in the NFL during the 2011 season. Jim Harbaugh’s squad posted an outstanding 13-3 record in the regular season, securing the NFC West title.

Gore led the team in rushing, finishing with 1,211 yards and eight touchdowns on 282 carries. The offense didn’t involve him heavily in the passing game, but that’s never been his game. He caught just 17 passes for 114 yards in 2011.

The 49ers advanced to the NFC Championship, where they fell to the New York Giants. The veteran running back rushed for 163 between the two games, but he didn’t reach the end zone.

3. 2012

Frank Gore’s 2012 season is quite similar to his 2011 campaign. He rushed for 1,214 yards and eight touchdowns on 258 attempts. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman got Gore more involved in the passing game. He finished with 28 receptions, 234 receiving yards, and one score.

The biggest difference between the two seasons was that Gore was more efficient in 2012. He rushed for more yards on 24 fewer carries. His yards per carry average went up to 4.7 yards. The 29-year-old led the Niners’ rushing attack en route to earning his fourth Pro Bowl nod.

San Francisco somewhat got over the hump in 2012. The team advanced to Super Bowl 47 against the Baltimore Ravens in the Harbaugh Bowl. Even though the 49ers lost, Frank Gore had a solid playoff run. He rushed for 319 yards and four touchdowns on 63 attempts.

2. 2009

The 49ers didn’t enjoy as much team success in 2009, as they posted an 8-8 record in Mike Singletary’s final season at the helm. Despite missing the playoffs, Frank Gore enjoyed some individual success.

The 2009 season was Gore’s fifth in the NFL, and he had already settled into his role in the offense and the locker room. The Miami product ran the ball 229 times for 1,120 rushing yards and 10 scores. This was the highest touchdown total of his career.

Gore also finished with the second-highest yards per carry total of his career (4.9 yards). The veteran enjoyed one of his best receiving campaigns in 2009. He recorded 52 receptions for 406 yards and three touchdowns. Gore finished second on the team in receptions, behind only Vernon Davis.

1. 2006

There is no debating that the 2006 season was Frank Gore’s best individual season. The 49ers star racked up 1,695 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 312 attempts. He finished third in the NFL in rushing, behind LaDainian Tomlinson (1,815) and Larry Johnson (1,789).

Not only did Gore record the most rushing yards of his career, but he also posted his highest reception total. He finished with 61 receptions, 485 receiving yards, and one touchdown.

What made the 2006 season so special was that he put up those big numbers in his second pro season. His production skyrocketed year over year. He rushed for 608 yards and three scores in 2005. Gore took command of the starting job, and he didn’t let it go for a long time.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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