4 bold predictions for 49ers Week 14 tilt vs. inconsistent Bengals

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /
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Jessie Bates, George Kittle, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers
Cincinnati Bengals free safety Jessie Bates (30) tackles San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images /

No. 3: George Kittle will net 49ers 100 yards again

San Francisco isn’t wanting to rush wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) back into the fray prematurely, at least not considering how vital he is to the team’s offense. And if Week 14 was a must-win game (it isn’t), things might be slightly different.

If there’s a benefit to Samuel being limited or out, as he was against the Seahawks in Week 13, it means those touches have to go to someone else.

And, just like Week 13, tight end George Kittle was the beneficiary.

Bengals second-year linebacker Logan Wilson would have been the primary cover defender assigned to Kittle, but Wilson is out this week with a shoulder injury, prompting head coach Zach Taylor to get creative with his coverages.

“The issue you get with tight ends is oftentimes, it’s not always corners that cover that guy,” Taylor told Cincinnati.com this week. “They just get the matchup with linebackers of safeties, but they present like a receiver. … When you get tight ends that are like that, it presents a unique challenge for you. All hands are on deck on trying to limit that production.”

It’s been a mixed bag for Cincinnati covering tight ends this season, having surrendered an average of 50.5 yards per game to tight ends.

Kittle, meanwhile, notched nine receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle, marking his second 100-plus yard game of the season.

Let’s push that to a third 100-yard game here.