This weekly post has often been dominated by George Kittle this season — mostly because he’s done his best to steal the show among former Hawkeyes nearly every week.
This was certainly another one of those weeks.
Kittle racked up 210 yards and a touchdown on seven catches in the 49ers’ 20-14 win over Denver on Sunday — all in the first half!
Kittle’s virtuoso performance was highlighted by catching this pass from Nick Mullens and scampering 83 yards for the score:
Earlier in the day, Kittle also rumbled through the Broncos defense for this 52-yard reception in the first quarter — surely another play that helped earn him myriad compliments from opposing defenders.
Kittle failed to track down his only second-half target, and thus ended up falling short of Shannon Sharpe’s single-game tight end record of 214 receiving yards, earning tongue-in-cheek criticism for coach Kyle Shanahan.
George Kittle on not passing Shannon Sharpe's record:— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) December 10, 2018
"Coach Shanahan has already apologized to me twice, so I'll go ahead and put the blame on him."
Kittle’s performance still established a number of other records, however, and now gives him a chance to take aim at Rob Gronkowski’s single-season receiving yardage record for a tight end.
250-pound George Kittle is already the heaviest player in NFL history with a 200-yard receiving game, breaking the mark held by Vincent Jackson (241 pounds).— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) December 9, 2018
Kittle has 1,103 receiving yards with three games left. The NFL record for receiving yards by a TE belongs to Gronk at 1,327. Needs 75 yards a game to break the mark. https://t.co/trUWKP42ax— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) December 10, 2018
Kittle now has 69 (nice) receptions for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns, with the yardage and TD figures both doubling his outputs from his rookie season in 2017. He’s set a new franchise record for receiving yards by a tight end in a single season, surpassing Vernon Davis’s record 965 in 2009.
His 1,103 yards on the year put him at 19th in 49ers history — and I think there have been a couple pretty good receivers to play for San Francisco if I’m remembering correctly.
Kittle now has five receptions of 40+ yards — three more than any other tight end in the league — and he’s averaging 103.8 yards over his last five games.
Richard Sherman on George Kittle— Keiana Martin (@KeianaMartinTV) December 10, 2018
"I don’t think he gets enough credit for how athletic he is... He deserves to be a Pro Bowler this year. To be a second-year player and play the way he’s played, he’s making an impact every game."#ProBowlVote
Oh — there were other Iowa players who participated in NFL action this week!
Chicago left guard James Daniels helped neutralize Aaron Donald in the Bears’ impressive 15-6 win over the Rams on Sunday night. Donald — one of the most impactful defensive players in the league — was limited to two tackles and one QB hit.
Anthony Hitchens led Kansas City with nine total tackles in a 27-24 overtime win over Baltimore.
Desmond King made two tackles and harassed Jeff Driskell into throwing away this third-down pass:
This stalled Bengals drive is brought to you by #20 Desmond King (that fake handoff fooled no one) pic.twitter.com/iTgS1u4zPj— Garrett Sisti (@GarrettSisti) December 11, 2018
Josh Jackson made three tackles and had two passes defended in Green Bay’s 34-20 win over Atlanta. He now has eight passes defensed this season
Josey Jewell made five tackles with one pass defensed in Denver’s loss to Kittle and the 49ers.
Adrian Clayborn recorded one-half tackle for a loss in New England’s last-second defeat at Miami.