George Kittle was named First-Team All-Pro for the first time last season. He had the highest-graded season by a tight end in the Pro Football Focus era, and was the best overall player in the NFL last season by PFF's rankings.
And he could have been even better with some help from the yellow flag. Kittle hauled in 85 receptions for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns last season despite missing two games. With a little more luck, those numbers would have been even more impressive.
PFF's Ian Hartitz found that Kittle had three touchdowns nullified by penalties last year, leading all players in the strange stat.
George Kittle with not one ... not two ... but three TDs nullified by penalty this season pic.twitter.com/PBGdCAthSD— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) October 28, 2019
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"Arguably the best tight end in the entire NFL could've had an even bigger season with a little better acting and/or performance from his teammates," Hartitz wrote.
It gets better (worse?), too. By Hartitz's count, the 49ers lead all teams with seven touchdowns called back by penalty in 2019.
Through the video of Kittle's called-back TDs, it appears he should have had at least another 40 yards receiving on the penalty-ridden touchdowns alone. The 49ers' star tight end already had an elite season. This would have put him over the top.
If the 49ers can clean up their penalties and Kittle remains healthy, expect another huge season from the fourth-year pro.