"Frank's an amazing running back. I feel like he's the most underrated running back in the NFL. He does everything for our offense," Kaepernick said. "He runs the ball. If we ask him to block, he does it. If we ask him to catch a pass, he does it. What he means to this team and what he contributes really can't be quantified."
Gore carried 22 times, hiking his season rushing total to 1,017 yards.
"It's a blessing. Ninth year in the league. Every year I hear the doubters, you know, 'Can you still do it?'" Gore said. "I take it one year at a time. My coaches still believe in me. This organization still believes in me."
The 10-minute drive Kaepernick led to one of Phil Dawson's four field goals and steadied the 49ers after Tampa Bay pulled within 20-14. Kendall Hunter put it well out of reach, scooping up a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and diving 2 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.
Meanwhile, the 49ers moved closer to a playoff berth. They began the day needing a win, plus an Arizona loss combined with a loss or tie by Dallas or Philadelphia to clinch a spot with two weeks left in the regular season.