NFC West Reporter
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — George Kittle at all times has a aptitude for theatrics.
Immersed in a bruising battle with the Dallas Cowboys, with the sport tied halfway by way of the third quarter, the San Francisco 49ers’ star tight finish pulled off a type of acrobatic performs he has a knack for making when video games are on the road.
On first-and-10 from San Francisco’s 21-yard line, rookie quarterback Brock Purdy rolled left. But together with his first two choices lined, Purdy threw again over the center of the sphere (an NFL no-no) and located a streaking Kittle being chased by Cowboys defensive sort out Neville Gallimore.
Purdy appeared to guide him an excessive amount of, however Kittle prolonged an outstretched paw. He tapped the ball again to himself and it bounced off his facemask. Kittle then managed to trace the ball down for a 30-yard acquire, ducking down earlier than getting walloped by cornerback Trevon Diggs.
Kittle was the final learn within the development however ran down the seam to search out house when Purdy appeared for one more possibility.
‘Everyone did their half’ — Brock Purdy and George Kittle converse with Erin Andrews after advancing to the NFC Championship
Erin Andrews spoke with George Kittle and Brock Purdy after the San Francisco 49ers’ win in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys within the NFL Playoffs.
“I was just trying to be dramatic,” deadpanned Kittle afterwards. “It was just for TV, trying to get the ratings up.”
Purdy had a distinct view.
“It seemed like it was 10 seconds of bobbling, and I was like, ‘Dude, c’mon man,'” Purdy mentioned, smiling. “But he came down with it.”
The play ignited a scuffling San Francisco offense. Seven performs later, Kittle celebrated on the bottom as he coaxed a defensive holding penalty on Dallas security Donovan Wilson.
Three performs later, working again Christian McCaffrey capped the drive with a two-yard run for a rating, tossing the ball over his head in celebration as San Francisco took a lead they might by no means relinquish.
And there was Kittle, monitoring the ball down like a punt, waving his hand for the honest catch after which handing the ball to the best to ever do it — Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, watching from the stands.
“Why not?” mentioned Kittle about his landing celebration. “And then I saw Jerry, and I said, ‘Jerry Rice gets the football.'”
That landing helped the 49ers advance to the NFC Championship recreation subsequent week (3:00 p.m. ET subsequent Sunday on FOX and the FOX Sports app).
Kittle led the cost on offense, ending with a team-high 5 catches for 95 yards. He stays Purdy’s safety blanket. Since Mr. Irrelevant took over at quarterback, Kittle has a team-leading 31 receptions for 447 receiving yards and 7 scores.
Speaking of the Iowa State product, he improved to 7-0 as a starter since taking on for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13. And he joined Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez as he solely rookie quarterbacks to win two playoff begins.
Purdy completed 19-of-29 passing for 214 yards. While Purdy did not put up gaudy numbers, he additionally didn’t flip the ball over. That’s a recurring theme.
“In playoff football — or any game really — you can’t be throwing the ball (away) or fumbling, anything like that,” Purdy mentioned. “When so much is on the line and everyone is playing their best football, every drive and every moment matters.”
With the victory, the 49ers superior to their third NFC championship within the final 4 years below head coach Kyle Shanahan. San Francisco leaned on its protection on this one, holding Dak Prescott and a gifted Dallas offense to 1 landing, 12 whole factors and 282 whole yards.
The 49ers pressured two Prescott interceptions and held Dallas to a Brett Maher 25-yard area aim when Ray-Ray McCloud fumbled a punt deep in their very own territory early within the second half.
Defensively, Dallas did a fantastic job shutting down San Francisco’s vaunted working recreation. But the 49ers caught with it, grinding out 113 dashing yards, with most of that coming within the second half.
“Some of those early, two-to-three-yard runs late in the game turned into four-to-eight-yard runs, and that’s a big deal,” mentioned McCaffrey, who completed with 57 scrimmage yards. “So sticking with it is important.”
49ers working. again Christian McCaffrey bursts previous the Cowboys for a landing
Christian McCaffrey’s dashing landing within the fourth quarter helped seal a playoff victory in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys.
San Francisco heads to Philadelphia using a 12-game profitable streak and trying to advance to the Super Bowl for the primary time for the reason that 2019 season.
“It’s going to be wonderful,” Kittle mentioned about subsequent week’s recreation. “You know how much the fans in Philly love the opposing team and their fans. It’s going to be cold and violent. It’s going to be a blast.”
Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for greater than a decade, masking the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.
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