Gore, Coffee and running in place


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The 49ers' commitment to running the football has allowed opponents to gang up against Frank Gore and Glen Coffee.

I think that helps explain why Gore and Coffee have combined for 25 plays that gained no yards or lost yardage. The totals reflect rushes and receptions.

A few notes on those plays, based on information in my play-by-play spreadsheet:

  • All 25 of the 49ers' plays were running plays.

  • The plays were distributed fairly evenly across quarters, not just when the 49ers were trying to run time off the clock late in games.

  • The plays transcended typical early-down personnel groups.

  • Ten were on first down, 11 on second down and four on third down.

  • The 49ers needed an average of 7.88 yards for a first down on these plays.

  • Nine of these plays were against the Cardinals, six against the Seahawks and 10 against the Vikings.

There wasn't any obvious mitigating factor, in other words.

Related: This chart's original advocate, Paul Kuharsky, advances the subject on his AFC South blog. Thanks to ESPN Stats & Information for providing the data.