TE George Kittle - San Francisco 49ers
|6-4, 247||Born: 10-9-1993||College: Iowa||Drafted: Round 5|
Week 21: bye week
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2017 Week 17 vs LAR (6 / 4 / 100 / 0 rec)
Kittle had his longest catch of the season on San Francisco's fourth play of the game, a 44-yard catch and run that saw him easily beat linebacker Corey Littleton's man-to-man coverage on a quick slant. On Kittle's second target (and catch), he found a hole in the short middle zone behind Littleton. Next up was a 4-yard catch on Kyle Shanahan's bread-and-butter, backside tight end play-action passing play. Kittle's final reception once again exploited Littleton's zone, but this time he was able to gain 28 yards after the catch by breaking two tackle attempts -- one by Littleton -- and running away from two more.
2017 Week 16 vs JAX (3 / 3 / 42 / 1 rec)
Kittle made the most of his three targets, catching all three for gains of 13 yards, 21 yards, and an 8-yard touchdown. To boot, each of the three showed off different aspects of the rookie's individual skill set and/or grasp of Kyle Shanahan's offense. On his first catch, Kittle lined up as the strong-side tight end in a three-point stance and beat safety Barry Church inside on a dig route. On his second catch, Kittle was lined up in the same position and ran the Shanahan West Coast Offense special: Back side crosser off a play-action quarterback bootleg. Finally, on his touchdown reception, Kittle stood up in a tight slot right alignment, sat down in middle zone, and fell forward into the end zone.
2017 Week 15 vs TEN (5 / 4 / 52 / 0 rec)
Four of Kittle's five targets came on two pairs of consecutive plays. In the second quarter, Kittle caught a 7-yard angle route to set San Francisco up in the red zone. On the next play, he ran a corner route into the back of the end zone, but Tennessee covered it perfectly, so Jimmy Garoppolo's pass sailed long and out of bounds. Kittle didn't see another target until the fourth quarter, when he once again saw two in a row on the Titans' half of the field. These resulted in two short completions to the outside from a tight slot right presnap alignment. His final target, a 24-yard wide open seam route, jump-started the 49ers' game-winning drive.
2017 Week 14 vs HOU (2 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)
On Kittle's first target, he sat down in Houston's underneath middle zone, caught the pass, and fell forward for 8 yards. His second target came on a West Coast staple, where the tight end runs his route across the formation behind the offensive line, and the quarterback delivers the pass after a play-action bootleg to the weak side. Safety Marcus Gilchrist, who was in a disguised man-to-man coverage on the play, was able to prevent a bigger gain; perhaps even a touchdown, as that side of the field was wide open.
2017 Week 13 vs CHI (3 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)
Kittle's was wide open for both of his receptions, going uncovered on a shallow cross for an 11-yard catch and run and going uncovered again for 9 yards in the red zone via sitting down in Chicago's Cover-2 zone. His incomplete target was more spectacular than both, as it came close to replicating Dwight Clark's "The Catch." Late in the second quarter with San Francisco in the red zone, Jimmy Garoppolo rolled to his right and somehow threaded the ball between five defenders in the end zone. Kittle made a leaping catch on the high pass, but couldn't keep his feet in bounds.
2017 Week 12 vs SEA (2 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)
Although Kittle saw limited playing time in his first game back from injury, he did reclaim is pass-catching tight end role from Garrett Celek. (Kittle ran a route on 80 percent of his snaps, whereas Celek only did so on 40 percent of his snaps.) Kittle's first target was on a backside rollout off of play-action. Safety Bradley McDougle covered him tightly (albeit with some discreet holding along the way), and defensive end didn't get fooled by the misdirection, thereby allowing him to bat down the pass. To the surprise of no one who's been reading these recaps, Kittle's second target -- and lone reception -- came in fourth quarter garbage time.
2017 Week 9 vs ARI (5 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
Kittle rolled his ankle while getting tackled on San Francisco's second play of the game. He lined up in the slot and easily beat safety Tyvon Branch on a quick slant for 14 yards. From then on, Kittle attempted to gut it out, but had to come off the field for stretches at a time, ultimately playing his final snap -- and seeing his final target -- early in the fourth quarter. On that play, he wasn't able to hang onto an easy catch, but the more important takeaway was his obvious discomfort and lack of mobility while running the route.
2017 Week 8 vs PHI (4 / 2 / 22 / 0 rec)
Kittle didn't see a single pass thrown his way until midway through the third quarter, and even then it was only the result of a dumpoff under pressure. At the end of the quarter, Kittle made his only reception of the game. Lined up in a two tight end right formation, he ran a wheel route against the man-to-man coverage of safety Malcolm Jenkins. Kittle got little, if any, separation, but made a great adjustment to the ball in the air as it fell over Jenkins' shoulder, reaching out with his upfield hand and tapping it back to himself twice before securing it into his chest.
2017 Week 7 vs DAL (2 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
Kittle was rendered a non-factor for two reasons. First, he only ran 17 routes in his 31 snaps because San Francisco kept him in to block in pass protection. Second, he couldn't get open on said routes due to the tight coverage of free safety Byron Jones and outside linebacker Sean Lee. Kittle's lone reception came on one of the handful of routes he was actually able to get open against Jones' man-to-man.
2017 Week 6 vs WAS (8 / 4 / 46 / 0 rec)
Once again, Kittle was the focal point of San Francisco's two-minute pass offense. It's just that, this week, he played this role in the waning moments of the first half, not the second: Four of Kittle's eight targets came in an eight-play span between 1:27 left and 0:29 left in the second quarter. The second, third, and fourth may have come in the red zone, but the first of these four had the most impact. Lining up inside in a trips formation, Kittle ran straight down the seam and split Washington's two safeties. C.J. Beathard's 23-yard pass was slightly behind him, but Kittle twisted his body in stride to make a reaching grab and then righted himself to run for an additional 8 yards. That he made such a high-difficulty catch represented a bit of redemption, as he dropped two passes earlier in the game, one of which being of the drive-killing, wide-open-on-third-down variety.
2017 Week 5 vs IND (9 / 7 / 83 / 1 rec)
Based on Kittle's second target, one would never have predicted what was to come later. It was 3rd-and-4 from the Colts' 10 yard line. Kittle ran a corner route from the slot and was open for a touchdown, but he dropped the pass. What's more, between those two targets on San Francisco's first drive and their last drive of regulation, he still hadn't done much anything of note: 1 target for 1 reception and 7 yards. But then all of a sudden, he became Brian Hoyer's go-to receiver with the game on the line. Backed up on their own 11-yard line, Kittle ran a corner route against a soft Cover-2 defense and was wide open for a 27-yard catch. Two plays later, Kittle was targeted again on a short out route, but Hoyer's pass was wide of the mark. When they faced 4th-and-1 a few plays later, Kyle Shanahan called for a play-action pass, which Kittle caught between the cornerback and safety for 19 yards. Two plays after that, he beat the man-to-man coverage of safety Darius Butler on a post route for another 19 yards. Finally, with the 49ers facing 4th-and-goal, Shanahan dialed Kittle's number again, this time on a quick slant out of the slot, which he caught before muscling his way into the end zone.
2017 Week 4 vs ARI (3 / 2 / 35 / 0 rec)
All of Kittle's yardage came in a two-minute span overlapping halftime. To start San Francisco's last drive of the first half, Kittle sat down in Arizona's short left zone and caught an easy pitch-and-catch for 14 yards. On the second play of the second half, he benefitted from a blown coverage by safety Tyvon Branch, who bit so hard on San Francisco's play-action fake that he appeared to neglect his man-to-man responsibility.
2017 Week 3 vs LAR (3 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Kittle caught one pass, but one of his two incompletions had more of an impact on the game's outcome. Specifically, with the 49ers down 17-7 and at the Rams' 20-yard line early in the second quarter, Kittle easily beat linebacker Mark Barron towards the inside on a slant, but dropped a pass that would have been a walk-in touchdown. (San Francisco ended up settling for a field goal.)
2017 Week 2 vs SEA (2 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Both of Kittle's targets came in the first half. His first target was a dumpoff as a safety valve on the weak side of the formation. It went for negative yardage because Seattle's front seven sniffed out the deception. They didn't, however, sniff out the deception on Kittle's second target, which came on a quick toss off of play action. The 49ers were in an left offset-I formation with Kittle on the right (weak) side of the line. His quick inside route found the gap between two Seattle defenders., and so he was able to gain 14 yards mostly unabated.
2017 Week 1 vs CAR (6 / 5 / 27 / 0 rec)
Kittle was a surprise active after being listed as questionable a hamstring injury. He got a handful of short receptions where the 49ers were asking him to beat the first tackler to create a larger play and he couldn't. Still, his role size was encouraging for a rookie and as he gets healthier, he could approach fantasy relevance in deeper leagues.
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