The Duel

3 Greatest Running Backs in 49ers History

Zach Brunner
Three greatest running backs in 49ers history,
Three greatest running backs in 49ers history, / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
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The 2019 San Francisco 49ers rushing attack was one to be admired. Dominating teams at the point of attack, the Niners took a committee approach to their backfield, deploying running backs of varying skill sets.

This was not the first time the 49ers have had a feared rushing attack, though. These are the three greatest running backs in 49ers history,

Best San Francisco 49ers Running Backs of All Time

3. Roger Craig (1983-1990)

Roger Craig totaled 2,000 all-purpose yards twice.
Roger Craig totaled 2,000 all-purpose yards twice. / Focus On Sport/Getty Images

With the third-most rushing yards in 49ers history (7,064), Roger Craig is in some elite company. Craig found the end zone 50 times on the ground. He also was a terrific receiver out of the backfield, totaling 4,442 yards and 16 touchdowns through the air. Craig had two separate seasons as a Niner with over 2,000 all-purpose yards, in 1985 and 1988. His contributions may have been overshadowed some by Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, but that doesn't mean he wasn't an outstanding player in his own right.

2. Joe Perry (1948-1960, 63)

Joe Perry is the franchise leader in rushing touchdowns.
Joe Perry is the franchise leader in rushing touchdowns. / Robert Riger/Getty Images

Joe Perry was an excellent running back in the famed "Million Dollar Backfield." The Hall of Famer ranks second on the all-time rushing list, with 8,689 yards. "The Jet" also leads the all-time list in rushing touchdowns (68) and had a rushing average of 5.2 yards per carry for his career. A two-time All-Pro, Perry also led the NFL in rushing yards three times (1949, '53 and '54) and in rushing touchdowns three times ('48, '49 and '53).

1. Frank Gore (2005-14)

Frank Gore is the franchise rushing leader.
Frank Gore is the franchise rushing leader. / Robert B. Stanton/Getty Images

Somehow, Frank Gore has withstood the test of time and is still running over defenders. However, his best days in the NFL came during his time in San Francisco. Gore is the franchise leader in rushing yards (11,073) and second in rushing touchdowns (64). He added another 2,883 yards and 11 touchdowns in the receiving game. Gore was voted to five Pro Bowls during his 10 years with the 49ers.


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