George Kittle will be reason why 49ers make playoffs in 2021
George Kittle remains the most important player for the 49ers as they seek to return to the playoffs, and he could be the reason why they get there.
With the San Francisco 49ers aiming to get back into the playoffs for the 2021 season, a lot of it is going to hinge on whether or not the team can be more durable throughout the year.
What happened last season is old news but still no less painful, an array of injuries to key players meant the Niners were never able to truly get going in a tough division.
Even with the expanded playoff format adding another Wild Card spot in the NFC and the 49ers hanging around for a surprisingly long time for that final spot, they were never able to find themselves in a position to make the playoffs.
But with the team now (mostly) back to full health, the team is in a much better spot to compete.
While the majority of the attention has been on the quarterback situation for the 49ers and the merits of Jimmy Garoppolo versus Trey Lance (either in 2021 or further down the line), tight end George Kittle still remains the most important player for San Francisco.
The team captain, joker, safety valve and co-creator of Tight End University remains the conduit for which all the playoff hopes for San Francisco are centered.
Why George Kittle remains 49ers’ most important player:
What makes Kittle so important is not just his ability to make plays or his infectious personality, but his ability to be a safety valve for whichever quarterback is on the field.
Kittle has proven time and time again that he can be productive no matter who he catches the pass from. Whether that’s Garoppolo coming back from injury or Lance making his debut, Kittle will be who shapes the offense and dictates the flow against opposing defenses.
That’s not to say he’s the only weapon San Francisco has, and the team has been able to get its running game beefed up with some exciting additions from the NFL Draft. The 49ers have also seen other offensive weapons produce with backup quarterbacks such as wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
But when it comes to the talent and leadership that simply cannot be taught, Kittle is there to lead the offense.
Read More: George Kittle was almost drafted by Seahawks, not 49ers
Even if the team is at its very best, they need him to lead the team forward.
This is what the 49ers sorely missed most of all in 2020, it didn’t have its leaders on offense. With Kittle (and to a lesser extent, Garoppolo) missing for extended periods of time, head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t have the leadership he could call upon.
With its top leader back on the field, the Niners can get back to business pursuing an overdue sixth Super Bowl with Kittle as the star on offense.
And as long as he’s on the field, the 49ers will return to the playoffs in 2021 and be every chance to finally reach that goal.