Indianapolis Colts training camp does not start until July 26th. So, there will not be much news about the team until then. As a result, it is time to preview the Colts’ players who will play key roles in 2016. It is Frank Gore‘s turn today.
Frank Gore is entering his second season with the Indianapolis Colts. He had a good first season with the Colts, but some Colts’ fans were expecting more from him.
He recorded 967 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. He also fumbled the football four times, including once on the one-yard line against the New York Jets in Week 2.
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To be fair to Gore, his offensive line was not very good. Not only did the offensive line struggle to protect quarterback Andrew Luck, it also struggled to create running lanes for Gore. As a result, Gore averaged a career-low 3.7 yards per carry.
Gore is 33 years old, and like fellow teammate Robert Mathis, he is fighting father time. Typically, the decline in effectiveness for most running backs begins after the age of 30. Gore has proven to be an exception to the rule, but it is not known if he can maintain his level of production for much longer.
Gore is still motivated to play football and is still training hard in preparation for the 2016 season. However, his physical running style means he has accumulated a lot of wear and tear over his entire career. At some point, his body will not be ability to endure that much punishment.
The Indianapolis Colts’ running back history is not very good. They have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai in 2007. Also, no Colts’ player has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in a single game since Vick Ballard in 2012.
Frank Gore came really close to breaking these trends last season. He had 967 rushing yards last season, and his highest single-game total of that season was 98 rushing yards in Week 5.
With Gore being so close to reaching both bench marks, it is hard to bet against him not reaching those goals in 2016. However, the odds are stacked against him.
Ultimately, Gore will end up with around 950 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns again in 2016, but he will have at least two games were he exceeds 100 rushing yards.
The reason why Gore will probably not exceed 1,000 rushing yards in 2016 is because the Colts will limit his carries. In 2015, Gore averaged 16.25 carries per game. This number will probably decrease in 2016.
The Indianapolis Colts brought in Robert Turbin, who used to be a serviceable backup running back for the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, young talents like Tyler Varga and Josh Ferguson should find their way into the rotation.
Although Gore does not believe his skills will decline, the Colts will be cautious with how often they let Gore touch the ball. Gore will still be the Colts’ primary running back, but no one should expect him to have more than 260 carries, which was his total in 2015.
The Indianapolis Colts need a running game to take pressure off of Andrew Luck. However, they must rely on the 33-year-old running back Gore. Effort will not be an issue with good. It is the fact that his body could begin to break down at any time in 2016 that has the Colts and some of their fans worried.