The odds are Frank the Tank Gore played his final game in a Colts uniform on Sunday when they beat the Houston Texans 22-13 at home. Gore rushed for 100 yards on 24 carries to finish with 961 yards on the dreadful season for the Colts. He was the only bright spot for a Colts offense that averaged a mediocre 30th in the league for points per game averaging 16.4. Gore will become a free agent this offseason and will either hang up his cleats or play for a true contender like he was promised when joining Indy. Whatever happens to the ageless Gore, he certainly left a big impact on the Colts in three short seasons.
Gore along with Miami teammate Andre Johnson signed with the Colts back in March 2015 when he was a heavy favorite to sign with the Eagles to replace LeSean McCoy. Indianapolis seemed to be a better fit with the new franchise great quarterback Andrew Luck who led the Colts to the AFC Championship in 2014. Of course, that was the healthy Andrew Luck before the injured Andrew Luck came along and the Colts went downhill. Despite having to switch quarterbacks from Luck to Matt Hasselbeck, Gore was able to maintain consistency and rush for 967 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Colts went 8-8 that year, for the first non-winning season in the Chuck Pagano era. Gore stuck with the team down to the end in all 16 games, with 76 yards in the final game of the season with Josh Freeman behind center.
Gore’s second season in Indianapolis would be the best of his Horseshoe career, breaking the 1000-yard mark with 1,025 yards and four touchdowns. After failing to reach that feat for the first time in his career when playing in all 16 games, Gore really bounced back with a great season on another mediocre 8-8 Colts team. In Week 6 Gore rushed for 106 yards to become the Colts first 100-yard rusher in a single game dating back 55 games into the Vick Ballard era. He moved up seven places on the all-time NFL rushing list and recorded the Colts first 1000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai back in 2007.
Gore’s third season which was this past season as you know was another great one with 961 yards and 3 touchdowns. Gore once again had to suffer pain for playing on one of the worst teams in football finishing 4-12 and securing the third overall pick. Gore started all 16 games and still did not lose a beat despite a terrible team performance this season. He still had tons of confidence back in Week 12 before the Titans game when the Colts were 3-7. Gore said before the game that he believed the Colts could sneak into the playoffs and has complete confidence in his teammates to get there. Although we love Gore and his enthusiasm, that was not going to happen, and it clearly did not. During the season, Gore joined Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Curtis Martin as the only backs in history to amass 14,000 career rushing yards.
Now after reviewing his Horseshoe career, this now brings us back to the main question regarding Gore and his future. It’s highly unlikely that Gore would return to a mediocre Colts team in 2018, but his loyalty to a franchise could help him stay in Indy. Gore is a great fit in the system and fans love to see him in the Blue and White, but he deserves much more than to play for a non-contender. That’s why Gore could look at other options this offseason. This is where possible options such as the Dolphins, Ravens, and even the 49ers come into play. It would not be a complete surprise if Gore rejoins the 49ers for one more season to retire with the team that gave him his start. Of course, right now they are not much of a contender but do have a great chance of the postseason next season with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. If Gore does not have the time and energy to learn and adapt to a new system, he might just retire as one of the football greats.
Frank Gore has had one amazing career in the NFL and it was disappointing to see him suffer from Super Bowl hopes playing on the Colts. Despite several quarterbacks and offensive line changes, Gore stuck around giving each game his all and maximum effort. Gore accomplished something unique in each of his three seasons in Indianapolis and will be in the record books as a Colt at the time he joined rushing greats. This likely may be the end of the road for Gore in his football career, and definitely with the Colts. He gave us a great ride, but the Colts did not repay like they said they would with a championship. Best of luck Frank the Tank!