There’s a lot to break down in the San Francisco 49ers’ win over the New Orleans Saints. I know Kyle will have a lot to go over in his podcasts and I’ll be on Facebook in a bit. The big thing to take from all of this is A: Jimmy Garoppolo played his best game as a pro and B: that was made possible thanks to one George Kittle.
Yes, Garoppolo had some miscues. And there’s been games where he’s squashed defenses, but the Saints are one of the best teams in the league. Garoppolo, with :53 on the clock, after Drew Brees did Drew Brees things, put the team on his back and did this:
4th and 2. We know that George Kittle is a beast, but that play from Garoppolo was so ice cold so good, and so clutch, you HAVE to give the quarterback some respect.
But this is Kittle’s hour and good lord! Not only is he trucking defenders, but he draws (a very dumb) face mask penalty from the Saints.
And no. That was not a bad call in that situation. The pass interference call on the previous drive for the Saints was more questionable than this (and really, after watching the PI, it’s hard to argue against it). How much more obvious could that infraction had been? If not called, that could have made the field goal a bit more difficult, but it was pretty much over once Kittle threw down the first defender. So even without it, the 49ers probably make the kick.
Kittle is getting all sorts of love from the team with DeForest Buckner calling him the GOAT among other things. Any questions on how significant it is to not have Kittle in a game should be answered with this. Kittle made crucial blocks for the run game and then came up with this ridiculous catch to win things for the 49ers.
As for his coach?
“When one of your best players has the mentality he does,” Kyle Shanahan said in the 49ers post-game press conference. “That changes everything.”
George Freaking Kittle. That is all.