Seahawks: 'The big key is stopping Frank Gore'

Seahawks: 'The big key is stopping Frank Gore'
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) gets tackled by Green Bay Packers cornerback Micah Hyde (33) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

SEATTLE -- The Seahawks and 49ers battled for four full quarters on December 8th in San Francisco. No team led by more than five points the entire game.

Looking for their first win at Candlestick Park since 2008, Seattle actually held a 17-16 lead late in the fourth quarter. That lead vanished when Frank Gore took a handoff, found a hole, and jolted 51 yards into the red zone.

"They were running the ball okay in that game," said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. "Then they busted one that changed the game."

Gore's 51-yard run eventually setup the last second game-winning field goal. The 49ers beat the Seahawks that day, 19-17.

"It was a great job by them," Carroll said. "We couldn't get him down and it put them in field goal range, and the game was in hand there."

That just shows what Frank Gore can do to a football game. He finished the night with 110 yards on 17 carries. He didn't score a touchdown, but his monster run helped lead the 49ers to victory.

Now, the Seahawks are tasked with shutting Gore down in the NFC Championship on Sunday.

"He's a fantastic runner," said Carroll. "He has as good a sense in the line of scrimmage as anybody that's playing in the game. If you make a mistake, he takes advantage of it."

This isn't anything new for Gore. He's the statistically the best running back in 49ers history. Gore has run for nearly 10,000 yards in his nine year career.

"They're consistent with what they do," said Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril. "They're going to give Frank Gore, give Frank Gore, and then maybe take a shot (downfield). It all starts with Frank Gore."

Let's not forget Gore can catch the ball out of the backfield, too. He's racked up nearly 3,000 receiving yards in his career, making him a dual-threat running back.

Gore isn't afraid of the end zone either. He's scored 71 career touchdowns, which is tied for 8th most among all active NFL players.

"The biggest thing for us is just being sound and playing disciplined," said Avril. "We can't try to do too much -- getting out of our gaps and trying to make the extra play. He'll definitely pick us apart if we do that. The big key is stopping Frank Gore."

The Seahawks have stopped Gore before, including this season. Seattle held the 49ers star running back to just 16 yards in the first meeting between the two teams on September 15th.

In his nine year career, Gore hasn't found much success in Seattle. Aside from a 144 yard showing in 2006, Gore has never run for more than 100 yards in a game here. In his last two games combined at CenturyLink Field, Gore has only registered 44 yards on 15 carries.