There’s just hours until the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers kick off and George Kittle is bringing the focus.
The 49ers star tight end always has his social media on point, although it’s typically a bit more casual and something related to pro wrestling or video games. But Kittle’s most recent post is all focus and all business.
The 49ers tight end did not provide a caption with the photo. Either way, it’s clear where Kittle is mentally and that’s fully locked in on the challenge in Green Bay. Considering the past two games have been quiet for the fifth-year veteran, he’ll be looking to go loud against the Packers.
Kittle Against Cowboys, Rams
It’s hard to convey exactly how much Kittle brings to the San Francisco offense. The most obvious and impactful contribution is of course his role as a pass-catcher, but Kittle is also one of the premier blockers and even his presence is something the 49ers’ opponents have to consider.
Blocking and scheming was a lot of Kittle’s role in the two win-or-go-home situations the 49ers have found themselves in. Per PFR, in the regular season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, Kittle caught the ball five times, but only earned 10 yards in the 27-24 win. Against the Dallas Cowboys, Kittle only made one grab for 18 yards.
Low production has been a longer problem than just the Cowboys and Rams games. The two weeks prior against the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans, Kittle had 21 and 29 yards respectively.
Again, the blocking and the way he forces defenses to account for his presence is still great value, but the Niners would rather get him more involved than he has been. The three-game stretch from Weeks 13 to 15 that saw him average 141.6 receiving yards per game and score three touchdowns is what Kittle is capable of in this offense, it’s just a matter of putting him in the position to succeed.
Kittle Looking Forward to Cold Weather
Not every NFL player enjoys freezing temperatures, but don’t count Kittle as a member of that group. When the topic of the game’s weather in the frigid environment of Green Bay came up, Kittle shared nothing but enthusiasm, per NBC Sports.
“I’ve played in some really cold games before,” Kittle said. “I think the coldest one I played in was like minus-28 degrees with wind chill. That was really fun. My key to staying warm is just to play — play a lot of snaps so you keep your blood going. The heated seats and the heater on the sideline are probably really nice. But hey, it’s football. You can’t really use the cold as an excuse. You’ve just got to go out there and perform at a high level. I think it’s just going to be really fun. It’s just a little bit more adversity for us to try to battle through.”
Kittle’s college days at Iowa definitely prepared him, but there’s something to be said about a January game at Lambeau Field. Besides a projected temperature of 15 degrees and a wind chill around zero, that environment will make for quite the welcome for San Francisco.