Eight enough for Canton? Frank Gore poised to join elite company

If Sunday marks the end of the Frank Gore era with the 49ers, it appears it will finish fittingly: With the franchise’s rushing leader posting another 1,000-yard season.

After his turn-back-the-clock 158-yard performance in a 38-35 overtime loss to San Diego on Saturday, Gore needs just 38 yards in the regular-season finale against Arizona on Sunday to collect the eighth 1,000-yard season of his 10-year career.

If he hits 1,000, he will join exclusive company. Only 10 running backs in NFL history have had eight 1,000-yard seasons. Among those running backs, seven are in the Hall of Fame and the other three – Jerome Bettis, LaDainian Tomlinson and still-active Steven Jackson – could eventually be enshrined in Canton.

Bettis has been a Hall-of-Fame finalist every year since he became eligible for induction in 2011; Tomlinson, a shoo-in, retired in 2011 and isn’t eligible and Jackson ranks 16th all-time in rushing.

Gore needs 39 yards Sunday to pass Warrick Dunn and join Jackson in the NFL’s top-20 in career rushing. Of the NFL’s top 20, 13 are in the Hall of Fame. The seven not in Canton: Tomlinson (5th), Bettis (6th), Edgerrin James (11th), Fred Taylor (15th), Jackson (16th), Corey Dillon (18th) and Dunn (20th).

Hall of a Group
Running backs with eight 1,000-yard seasons:
11: *Emmitt Smith
10: *Curtis Martin; *Walter Payton; *Barry Sanders
8: Jerome Bettis; *Eric Dickerson; *Tony Dorsett; Steven Jackson; Thurman Thomas; *LaDainian Tomlinson.

* Hall of Fame

NFL Career Rushing

With a productive season in 2015, Gore can move into the top 15 on the all-time list:
10. Marshall Faulk, 12,279
11. Edgerrin James, 12,246
12. Marcus Allen, 12,243
13. Franco Harris, 12,120
14. Thurman Thomas, 12,074
15. Fred Taylor, 11,695
16. Steven Jackson, 11,388
17. John Riggins, 11,352
18. Corey Dillon, 11,241
19. O.J. Simpson, 11,236
20. Warrick Dunn, 10,967
21. Frank Gore, 10,929

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