San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle stands alone.
Arguably the best player at his position in all of the NFL when healthy, Kittle has had a ridiculous pair of back-to-back games to help the Niners move to 7-6 and remain a team of dogs in the thick of the hunt for the NFC Playoffs.
Kittle caught 9 passes for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Niners’ heartbreaking Week 13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In Week 14, he grabbed 13 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown in an electrifying overtime win on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.
ALL the latest 49ers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on 49ers newsletter here!
The consecutive performances of at least 150 yards receiving and at least 1 touchdown took Kittle to a place no NFL tight end has ever been before, and sent the Niners’ star straight into the record books. The Twitter account StatMuse posted details of the accomplishment online Sunday night, December 12.
“Today was his fourth 150/1 career game — breaking a tie with Shannon Sharpe for most by a TE in NFL history,” the tweet said.
Niners Defeat Bengals in Fantastic Fashion
While Kittle led the Niners in receptions, receiving yards and yards per catch on Sunday, the evening belonged to another San Francisco pass catcher — wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
The 49ers controlled the game all day, taking a two-touchdown lead into the 4th quarter. However, a 14-point effort in the final stanza by the Bengals and a missed 47-yard field goal from the Niners as the clock ran out left San Francisco on the brink of a second straight loss.
Cincinnati opened the overtime period with the ball, drove down the field and booted a field goal to take a 23-20 lead.
Crazy End to Overtime for Niners
Under the current NFL overtime rules, the Niners got the ball and a chance to either tie the game with 3 points of their own or claim victory with a touchdown.
On a first-and-10 play, with 2 minutes remaining in the game, the Niners sent Aiyuk in motion from the right side of the field to the left. San Francisco snapped the ball and Garoppolo ran a play-action fake. The QB pulled up off the fake and tossed the ball to Aiyuk on the left side of the field, where the wide receiver caught it just shy of the line of scrimmage.
Aiyuk sprinted down the sideline and made a leap for the end zone. Whether he got there or not wasn’t immediately clear on the field, and the referees went to replay. After the review, it was determined that Aiyuk had reached the pylon and scored a touchdown. The game was over.
The moment was massive for the second-year wideout, who struggled early in the year but has come on to help the Niners reclaim their season after a disappointing 2-4 start. Reporter Nick Wagoner, who covers the 49ers for ESPN, summed up the Aiyuk experience this season in a tweet following the game.
“Pretty great moment for #49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk. A rocky start to season but he has been integral in Niners turning season around,” Wagoner wrote. “A terrific effort on the touchdown to win it and get Niners to 7-6.”
The 49ers will try and move to 8-6 next Sunday, when they take on the Atlanta Falcons back in San Francisco.