Originally written May 08, 2013 on The Victory Formation:
Teams are scrambling to find a way to slowdown the run game of the San Francisco 49ers, especially with Colin Kaepernick and Frank Core in the backfield. There is one scheme that failed quite a bit a year ago, and that was lining up eight defenders in the box. That old tactic was great against a team that lined up in your old-school I-formation set with the QB directly under center, but ain’t gonna work against the 49ers spread option offense. But it also hasn’t worked for the last decade against Frank Gore, anyhow. Teams have been stacking the box against the 49ers for the past few years. When Alex Smith was at QB, teams were daring him to throw the ball, and they still couldn’t put the clamps down on Gore. As he heads into his 9th NFL season, Gore stands at the top of the 49rs record books with 8839 yards, and second in rushing touchdowns. Nobody saw a higher percentage of play with eight men in the box than Gore. It wasn’t even close, as the league average is 23.3%, while he saw it 42.3% of the plays. That’s a staggering number. What is impressive about that? [...]
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