George Kittle’s Catch: San Francisco’s offense, which had struggled to find a way through Dallas’s defense for most of the first three quarters, suddenly got the spark it needed from a guy who didn’t have much of a hand in calling the plays.
George Kittle’s Amazing Catch
QB Brock Purdy of the Niners rolled to his left in the third quarter with 5:19 remaining, hoping to find WR Brandon Aiyuk on a crossing route. If it wasn’t there, then wide receiver Deebo Samuel along the left sideline would have gotten the ball. Purdy was also tasked with finding fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the flat if neither of those options was available.
Purdy kept his head down, planted his feet, and saw tight end George Kittle coming down the center of the field. When Purdy saw Kittle, his tight end, he tossed the ball right in front of him as George Kittle waived his right hand. Before Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs could deliver a major hit, George Kittle stretched out with his right hand and redirected the ball back to himself, where it bounced off his facemask. Purdy made a joke about how for 10 seconds it looked like George Kittle was bobbling the ball after the game. Kittle claims that this deliberate action was taken.
It was George Kittle who admitted, “I was only attempting to appear theatrical.” They acted this way only for the cameras to see. For the sake of boosting my show’s ratings, I decided to ramp up the drama a bit. We exist specifically for such a purpose.” The play covered 30 yards and set up the Niners’ first touchdown 8 plays later.
Christian McCaffrey, a running back, thought it was incredible. “Wow, that’s the most impressive catch I’ve ever noticed or witnessed. One may say that this is a unique player with unique abilities. A play like that is a great way to keep the momentum going.”
The 2-yard touchdown run by McCaffrey on the first play of the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winner for the 49ers in their 19-12 triumph over the Cowboys. It was the Niners’ 12th straight victory, and it secured their spot in the NFC Championship Game against the Eagles in Philadelphia next Sunday.
A career-best playoff effort for George Kittle, this was the defining moment. It was the most yards by a Niners tight end in a postseason game since Vernon Davis had 104 in Super Bowl XLVII (when he caught five of six targets for 104 yards). Kittle’s previous career high was 63 yards, set in last year’s divisional-round victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Since Purdy took over in Week 14, he and George Kittle had developed an instant rapport. This season, Kittle has caught 29 passes for 425 yards and seven touchdowns in seven games. Given their history together, it wasn’t shocking that his game-changing play occurred in a play where he wasn’t even meant to be involved.
In other words, “I’m not in the read at all,” George Kittle declared. “It took Brock, a great QB who keeps his head up even when neither of his top 2 targets is open, to look back inside and observe a white glove hand fly up, giving me a chance to catch the ball., that’s just very strong quarterback play.”
A Dallas defense that ranked first in the NFL in quarterback pressure % gave Purdy his hardest test to date on Sunday. As a result, Purdy faced the most pressure (14) in his brief NFL career in this game. Purdy completed only three of ten passes for 24 yards and was sacked twice in those 14 attempts. When given time to throw, however, Purdy was 16 of 19 for 190 yards. What’s more, Purdy and the offense didn’t give the ball away, with San Francisco’s only turnover coming on a mishandled punt return.
Never before has a rookie quarterback thrown for over 200 yards and no picks in a postseason game. Purdy did it again on Sunday, making it two weeks in a row, and the Niners had two takeaways, giving them a perfect 15-0 record when they also won the turnover fight. You can’t afford to be tossing the ball up or fumbling it in the playoffs, or any game in the NFL, Purdy said. Every play and every second count when there’s so much at stake and you expect everyone to bring their A-game.
Next week, Purdy will join Shaun King, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, and Mark Sanchez as the only rookie quarterbacks to start an NFL conference championship game. Only Purdy, Flacco, and Sanchez have won multiple postseasons starts as rookie quarterbacks. Every week, Purdy’s teammates express their awe at the 2022 NFL draft’s last pick’s cool composure under pressure.
McCaffrey has noted that this is evident “every day with the way he prepares and you see it in practice and games.” “Simply said, he’s been a pleasure to have in the huddle. Indeed, I’m no longer taken aback by this development. His new identity is inevitable.”
Philadelphia, who was first in the league in sacks and opponent yards per play, will provide Purdy and the Niners with yet another stern challenge. That’s why, after Sunday’s victory, head coach Kyle Shanahan and the rest of his team wasted no time in moving on.
At this point, Shanahan said, “We’ve already been here before.” ” This journey here is extremely difficult. At this point, we aren’t doing much introspection. This week we have a major game, yet winning isn’t the end aim. Therefore, we must attend to matters promptly.”
George Kittle’s incredible concentration catch (Video) Watch Now
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