The 49ers have needed George Kittle at his very best in a crucial Week 13 game against the Seahawks, who have played tough despite their record.
There may have been some ugly moments in the first half of the San Francisco 49ers‘ Week 13 road bout against the 3-8 Seattle Seahawks, including running back Trenton Cannon suffering a serious concussion on the opening kickoff.
The Niners defense, up and down at times, also did its best to contain Hawks quarterback Russell Wilson, too, who had his moments en route to the 23-21 first-half score in favor of San Francisco.
But if one wanted to know who contributed the most to the 49ers’ first-half lead, it was no one else more than tight end George Kittle.
Kittle needed to be a key X-factor for head coach Kyle Shanahan, especially with wide receiver Deebo Samuel out with a groin injury.
George Kittle leads 49ers with 2 first-half touchdowns
The weirdness of the game surely got started with a fake Seattle punt attempt that netted an opening touchdown for the Seahawks.
But Kittle and the Niners responded with a touchdown drive of their own, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hitting his tight end on a 24-yard pass down the post after San Francisco’s defense forced a fumble and took over at the Hawks’ own 24-yard line:
Not to let anyone else be overly impressive, Kittle also added to the 49ers’ scoring with an exceptional 48-yard catch-and-run touchdown down the sidelines, staying in bounds and increasing the Niners’ now-precarious lead:
Over the course of the first half, Kittle led all players on both teams with five receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
That could have been the last score of the half, except Seattle marched quickly down the field in response and scored a touchdown of its own, aided by two San Francisco roughing-the-passer penalties.
At least the 49ers get the ball back to start the second quarter, and they’ll certainly need Kittle to remain a key X-factor if they want to pull off their fourth win in a row.