How Kittle, 49ers' offense have impressed Bengals' Taylor


George Kittle had his coming-out party of the 2021 season in Week 13, hauling in nine catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers' 30-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Up next for the 49ers is the Cincinnati Bengals, and head coach Zac Taylor spoke about the difficulty of defending the star tight end in his media availability on Wednesday.

"He's been consistent for a really long time, he's not just a pass threat, he's very physical in the run game, can help them a lot of different ways," Taylor told reporters Wednesday. "We got all the respect in the world for him, he's a guy they really count on, he makes a ton of plays whenever they need it, I remember seeing it firsthand at the Rams over and over and over and you see it on the tape, especially against Seattle. The performance he just had, where you catch it and sometimes it feels like for a lot of guys it would be a five-yard gain, and for him it can be an 80-yard touchdown in a heartbeat.

"Part of what makes him so great is he's so physical in the run game and such a part of what they do in the run game, that you get used to him factoring into that and then all of a sudden, they use their play-actions and their sneaks and their keepers and all that stuff to slip him out, and all of a sudden now you're a step late on him and you can't afford to be, because he's got such speed and power that he really hurts you that way."


Kittle showed off his incredible ability to rack up yards after the catch when he caught a ball from Jimmy Garoppolo just four yards beyond the line of scrimmage and took it 45 yards for a touchdown, impressively tip-toeing along the sideline.

RELATED: How PFF graded Kittle, 49ers in bad loss vs. Seahawks

Kittle ended up with the highest Pro Football Focus grade of any tight end in Week 13.

With Deebo Samuel's status unclear as he battles a groin issue, Kittle once again is the unquestioned No. 1 option for Garoppolo in the passing game for Week 14.

The Bengals clearly are preparing the best they can to defend him, but Sunday could be another big performance for Kittle.

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