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C.J. Beathard, George Kittle connect for first touchdown since Iowa days

Both Iowa rookies are off to a strong start with the 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers finally got on the board in the second half against the Denver Broncos, and it come on a heck of an impressive drive by C.J. Beathard. It came against second and third string Broncos defenders, but Beathard can only perform against what’s in front of him, and boy did he.

Beathard came on for the final drive of the second quarter, and while he connected with Kendrick Bourne for 17 yards, the drive ended with a failed Hail Mary attempt. However, Beathard & Co. came out swinging in the third quarter. After a four-yard Kapri Bibbs run, Beathard connected on a pair of big catch-and-run plays with wide receiver Aldrick Robinson and rookie tight end George Kittle.

Robinson 39-yard reception

Robinson ran an in pattern and caught a 13-yard pass. He then turned on the jets and added 26 yards to it. Robinson was not viewed as an overly impressive signing, but he’s got some speed when he gets the ball in his hands.

Kittle 29-yard touchdown reception

That was followed by this Kittle catch-and-run. The 49ers ran a play-action naked bootleg, with Kittle running a little out pattern. The catch was a few yards past the line of scrimmage, and Kittle then went to work. He bulldozed one defender and brushed off a second defender to turn the short catch into a 29-yard touchdown.

Most of the yards on both plays came after the catch. That being said, Beathard put the balls right on the spot to put his receivers in position to get the extra yards. They were the kind of plays Kyle Shanahan’s offense can do some serious damage with, particularly given the talent deficiencies on the 49ers roster.

And plenty of credit to Kittle for the huge play in his on-field NFL debut. He missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury, but is making his presence felt in his debut. He was already going to make the roster, but the question now is how significant a role he can earn as a rookie.