SANTA CLARA – George Kittle’s 63rd regular season game brought him something new: his first NFC Offensive Player of the Week award.
Kittle’s 13 catches and a 151 yard run Sunday night supported the 49ers’ 26-23 overtime win over host Cincinnati Bengals.
The five-year veteran has won All-Pro and Pro Bowl awards in 2019 and 20s, but has never won a weekly award until this week.
In fact, no hard endings in 49ers history have won the weekly award that dates back to 1984. The decision is made by the public relations department of the league, and it does not come without a financial benefit or a commemorative certificate.
Kittle acted out an aggravated caviar problem, and he did it on an artificial surface, which he likened to cement.
“When you have catch and tackle, it hurts,” Kittle said after the game. “Nothing to worry about, I would say, just over-soreness.”
Practice today at 1:00 pm after media interviews with coach Kyle Shanahan and defender Jimmy Garoppolo.
After the 49ers’ 14-point lead in the fourth quarter evaporated, Kittle put the 49ers in position twice to win. An acrobatic 19-yard tackle on the Bengals’ 29-yard line forced Robbie Gould to attempt a field goal, which he missed out on goal after the rule expired. Kittle caught 8, 21 and 9 yards in overtime, the finals of which secured the third drop of the game ahead of Brandon Ayuk’s 12-yard touchdown win-win.
Ayuk later said of Kittle’s general presence: “He’s big. It often happens that something goes wrong and it’s frustrating. And so George picks you up, talks to you. I try to learn from his ability to maintain balance throughout the game. It’s nice to have such a person. ”
Kittle marked the first tight end in NFL history with 150 receiving yards and touchdowns in consecutive games, hitting 181 yards (nine catches) and touchdowns in Seattle the previous week.
The only Iowa products to win the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award were also the Hard Ends: Marv Cook (1991) and Dallas Clarke (2009).
HAYUK IN THE FOCUS OF FALCONS
Ayuk quickly shifted his focus from the Cincinnati pylon to the upcoming Atlanta Falcons, who will visit the 49ers on Sunday in their penultimate game at Levi Stadium this season.
“We are well aware of our (playoffs) picture,” Ayuk said Wednesday morning at KNBR 680-AM. “It’s December, mid-December. This is all you could dream of at this point in the season.
“We have to put that (overtime win) behind us and focus on this week and play as best we can at home.”
– Cam Inman (@CamInman) December 15, 2021
Ayuk had 32 receptions for 453 yards and three touchdowns in his last seven games, a significant departure from a six-game start that included nine receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown.
Ayuk admitted that his conversations with Shanahan and Garoppolo told him things “in a way I had never heard before. … I was glad to hear this and understand what they see and think, because we thought completely differently. ”
Ayuk said that communication with Garoppolo is now bearing fruit. Regarding the development of rookie quarterback Trey Lance, Ayuk said, “Every time we talk to Jimmy, he’s right there. We see him all the time, even if he has no representatives. We watch the movie and talk to him. He throws a beautiful soccer ball with mustard. ”