How 49ers TE George Kittle Eliminated the Vikings from the Playoffs
You would think 49ers tight end George Kittle flat-out disappeared during the playoffs if you didn’t watch the games and only looked at box scores.
Three catches for 16 yards against the Vikings in the Divisional Round.
One catch for 19 yards against the Packers in the NFC Championship.
Four catches for 36 yards against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
That’s eight catches for just 71 yards in three postseason games for the All Pro tight end.
But Kittle didn’t play poorly -- the 49ers simply ran the ball a ton because they ran the ball so well. They ran 47 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings, 42 times for 285 yards and four touchdowns against the Packers and 22 times for 141 yards and one touchdown in the Super Bowl.
The entire 49ers offense played well and contributed to the success on the ground -- that includes the offensive linemen and the running backs, of course. Tevin Coleman played well against the Vikings, and Raheem Mostert was brilliant in all three games. And fullback Kyle Juszczyk was vital, too. He always is.
But Kittle was the catalyst. He was the engine of the 49ers’ running game, the most valuable member of it. The person who made it virtually unstoppable. The person who would push a defensive linemen 10 yards downfield so the running back could sprint nine yards untouched.
Without Kittle, the 49ers might not have beaten the Vikings in the Divisional Round. Seriously. He was that important.
Don’t believe me?
Check out Kittle’s best blocks from that game for yourself.