Both the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers struggled in Week 3, but the NFC West rivalry is still as intense as ever. After the Niners’ loss to the Packers, San Francisco tight end George Kittle put the “damn Seahawks” on notice, adding that he was looking forward to getting a “chance to whoop up on them.”
“What I said after the game was, take 24 hours, mourn the loss, do whatever you want with it, we come in, we’re going to watch the tape, look yourself in the mirror, see what you can get better at and then bring that into next week,” Kittle told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Whatever you didn’t bring last week, bring something new to the table, get better at one thing this week and we got the damn Seahawks coming in, and I’m excited about that.
We got a division rival, and we’re really excited to get a chance to whoop up on them. I know they’re going to bring all their energy and all their best guys here. It’s gonna be a helluva battle. If you’re not in the right mindset for that one, you’re not on the right football team.”
Here is a look at Kittle’s comments about the Seahawks.
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The Seahawks Tried to Trade up for Kittle in the 2017 NFL Draft
Kittle may not have much love for the Seahawks, but the two-time Pro Bowl tight end nearly was drafted by Seattle. During an interview on the Stacking the Box podcast, Kittle relayed a draft night story where his agent informed him the Seahawks were trading up to snag him.
“… It was probably a minute before the Niners called me, my agent said, ‘Hey, the Seahawks are calling. They said they’re trading up to get you,'” Kittle noted in April 2021, per 49ersWebZone.com. “And then, literally, I’m on the phone with him, my agent, and — he’s on my dad’s phone — and then I got a call from the Bay Area, and I was like, ‘I’m getting a call from the Bay.’ He was like, ‘Hang up on me and answer that.’ I was like, ‘Alright, sick.’
“The next thing I know, I’m talking to John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, saying that they’re drafting me, and they’re excited to work with me. I was like, ‘I’m excited to be there. Let’s roll.'”
Seahawks general manager John Schneider admitted the team missed Kittle “by a minute.”
“Seahawks GM John Schneider says on Seahawks pre-game radio show Seattle really wanted George Kittle in the draft and ‘missed him by a minute,'” The Seattle Times Bob Condotta tweeted on December 2, 2018.
The 49ers Are Favored Over the Seahawks
The Seahawks headed into the Week 4 rivalry matchup as a three-point underdog. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll identified Kittle along with Deebo Samuel as the two key players to the Niners’ offense.
“You’re going to have to deal with those guys quite a bit,” Carroll told ESPN 710 Seattle. “You’re going to get Deebo in so many different areas of their game whether he’s in the backfield getting the ball, whether he’s coming across running reverses and fly plays. His catch and run ability in screens is really effective. Kittle is an all-around football player that can do everything. Unfortunately, they know that, so they get the ball to these guys all the time and it just gives them a little bit more of an opportunity to make a play and have an influence on the game.”