SANTA CLARA -- Frank Gore isn't satisfied as the 49ers' all-time rushing leader in yards, carries and touchdowns. He passionately wants to join the franchise's stable of backs already wearing Super Bowl rings, predecessors such as Roger Craig, Tom Rathman and Ricky Watters.
"He's got all the accolades, and the one thing missing is a ring," left guard Mike Iupati said Monday of Gore.
Gore addressed that championship void with teammates after a recent practice, imploring them to seize their upcoming opportunity to reach Super Bowl XLVII.
"He told us as a team that we've got to get this," Iupati added. "He said: 'It's right there. Two more games.' "
The No. 2-seeded 49ers (11-4-1) will return to the NFC Championship game if they win their playoff opener Saturday night against the No. 3-seeded Green Bay Packers (12-5) at Candlestick Park.
Gore isn't dwelling on how the 49ers came one win short of last season's Super Bowl, stating: "It's done. Now we've got a chance to get back."
This will be Gore's 119th game in a 49ers uniform, including last season's two playoff appearances. Has there been any game in which he's been needed more than this one?
The Packers are anticipating a heavy dose of Gore, as linebacker Clay Matthews indicated Saturday after Green Bay's 24-10 wild-card win over the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
"Frank Gore is an outstanding athlete. He makes plays for them," Matthews told reporters.
Gore secured the 49ers' 30-22, season-opening win at Green Bay with his 23-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run. It highlighted his 16-carry, 112-yard day.
The Packers run defense has remained vulnerable all season, and Gore will try to follow the heralded footsteps left by the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson. The Packers gave up 210 yards and 199 yards to Peterson in their regular-season meetings last month. However, a more-disciplined Packers defense contained Peterson to 99 yards Saturday.
Gore's capacity to excel is what's made him one of the 49ers' five longest-tenured players. This season, his eighth as a pro, he ran for 1,214 yards (10th most in the NFL) while averaging 4.7 yards per carry and keying the league's fourth-best rushing attack.
"We do our job, he does his, and he's as good as (heck) at his," right tackle Anthony Davis said.
Gore recently rewarded his blockers by giving them Breitling watches, a fancy encore to last season's gift of Louis Vuitton luggage.
While Gore, 29, is in only his second season as a team captain, "Frank's always been a good leader," left tackle Joe Staley said. "That's one thing we have now that we didn't in the past: terrific leaders all across the board."
After praising quarterback Colin Kaepernick's playoff preparation as "savantlike," coach Jim Harbaugh quantified Gore's as "top shelf."
Gore hasn't been as productive with Kaepernick as the starter the past seven games, and Gore has spoken about his need to become more patient when the 49ers run read-option plays. With the offense becoming more pass-oriented, Gore hasn't rushed for more than 100 yards in any of his past nine games.
The Packers, however, know he's capable of hitting the century mark against them, simply because he did so four months ago. Said Matthews: "We expect it to be a tough, hard-fought match like it was in Week One."