From 1997-2007, the Indianapolis Colts had a 1,000-yard rusher in ten of eleven seasons. Since 2007, they haven't had one.
Ever since Joseph Addai rushed for 1,072 yards in the 2007 season, the Colts' running game has dealt with significant struggles, leading to to team being just one game away from potentially ending their eighth straight season without a 1,000-yard rusher.
Frank Gore, though, has one more game to try to reach that milestone, as he currently sits at 891 yards on the season - still the most by a Colts' back in a season since Addai in '07 - with only one game remaining. In order to break the Colts' 1,000-yard drought, however, Gore will also need to break another significant running game drought: the Colts' 100-yard drought.
The Colts haven't had a player rush for 100 or more yards in a game since late in the 2012 season when Vick Ballard rushed for 105 yards in the team's week 15 loss to the Texans. Since then, the Colts have gone 55 games (including playoffs) without reaching the mark. Last week, it appeared Gore would break the mark after he racked up 72 yards and two touchdowns on just six first half carries, but things fell apart in the second half. With a backup quarterback and a backup guard in the game, the running lanes quickly disappeared for Gore, who rushed nine times for just 13 yards in the second half. That put him at just 85 yards for the game, a very respectable total but still shy of the 100-yard mark.
On Sunday against the Titans, Gore needs 109 yards to reach the 1,000 yard mark. It would be the ninth time in his career (in eleven seasons) reaching the milestone and the fifth in a row. Gore has done exactly what the Colts brought him in to do, but things haven't worked out well for the entire offense, often leaving Gore in a bad position. With that said, he's still in striking distance of a very notable mark, one that would break two significant run game droughts for the Colts.
The Colts' top focus, obviously, is winning - but getting Gore to 1,000 yards would also be nice.
"The win is the most important thing," head coach Chuck Pagano said on Friday. "We're still in it, so we've got to get the win. It'd sure be nice if that came along with it, got those rushing yards and had a 1,000-yard rusher. Guys are determined. Frank is a great, great teammate. He's a warrior. He's a great player. He's tough as nails. He gives everything he's got every single day, so that'd be something special but the win is the most important thing obviously."
Considering the fact that the Colts will have either Stephen Morris, Josh Freeman, or Ryan Lindley starting at quarterback on Sunday, getting Gore to 109 yards might not just reach the 1,000 yard milestone, it also might be the best thing toward helping the team win.