The San Francisco 49ers tight end position is a weird one. Its one that I think needs big changes in 2018, but one that many others think will be fine. I also noted that George Kittle is a player I’m watching closely over the next four games because the 49ers need to know what they have in him.
Kittle has been hobbled by injury over the past few weeks, but if he’s good to go against the Texans, he could be in line for a big day. The same goes for Garrett Celek. That’s because the Texans are bad against tight ends, among the worst in the league.
The Texans have allowed 67 receptions for 735 yards and seven touchdowns to tight ends alone this season, placing them among the worst teams in the league against tight ends. Only four teams have allowed more touchdowns and only five have allowed more yards to tight ends in 2017.
On top of that, the Texans have allowed a 120.8 passer rating to quarterbacks throwing between the numbers this season, which is the highest in the league, according to Pro Football Focus in their Week 14 picks against the spread. This is a stat we talked about already when discussing Trent Taylor and his potential to have a big game.
Obviously, all throws to tight ends don’t come between the numbers, but a high portion of them are in the seam and over the middle. This is where Kittle can and should do his best work as he grows into a more complete receiving tight end. I don’t know what his health is like right now, but if he’s healthy, hopefully he gets at least as much playing time against Celek.
Celek has 15 receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Kittle has 30 receptions for 311 yards and a touchdown.