Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

ESPN predicts 49ers’ George Kittle will have over 150 receiving yards vs. Seahawks

Oct 30, 2020 at 6:09 AM--

No team is allowing more passing yards per game than the Seattle Seahawks. In fact, the Seahawks defense ranks dead last — by a significant margin — in defense, giving up 479.2 yards per game. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn't give his Week 8 opponent any bulletin board material when asked about its defense this week.

"There's some soft spots," Garoppolo said. "You know, they make you work for it, though. There's no gimmes. This type of defense, you've got to earn it, work your way down the field. They're very sound, but it's unfortunate that they've been giving up the yardage they have been, but it's a solid defense overall."

ESPN revealed its predictions for the upcoming weekend of matchups and made the bold prediction that All-Pro tight end George Kittle will have over 150 yards receiving against the worst defense in the league.

"Last week might have been National Tight Ends Day, but Sunday will be 49ers tight end George Kittle's day," wrote ESPN's 49ers reporter Nick Wagoner. "Kittle will go for 150-plus yards and score at least once against a Seahawks defense that is struggling to stop everybody and has allowed an average of 14.8 yards per catch to tight ends, 31st in the league."

Now, Wagoner does note that he predicts Kittle to do this "at least once" against Seattle, which could mean he feels it doesn't happen this weekend and instead happens during the Week 17 matchup between the two teams. "At least" also means he feels Kittle is capable of the feat in both games.

Kittle topped the 150-yard mark once this season, hauling in 183 yards worth of passes and a score against the Philadelphia Eagles during Week 4. That came after missing two games with an MCL sprain and bone bruise.

Kittle had over 150 receiving yards just once more before that — a 210-yard performance in 2018 against the Denver Broncos.

While the Seahawks rank last in defense, they rank first in total yards and scoring on offense. That's why ESPN's Seahawks reporter, Brady Henderson, envisions a shootout on Sunday between the 49ers and Seahawks.

"This matchup has all the makings of one," wrote Henderson. "The Seahawks' top three running backs are all question marks due to injuries, which could force them to focus their game plan around MVP front-runner Russell Wilson and his receivers. Their defense has already allowed the most yards through six games in NFL history and could again be without safety Jamal Adams. That's a bad combination against an excellent playcaller in Kyle Shanahan."

Despite the bold prediction for Kittle, both of ESPN's team reporters both foresee a Seattle win. Wagoner has Russell Wilson's squad earning a 31-27 victory over its division rivals while Henderson picks the Seahawks with a 38-35 win. ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) gives Seattle a 50.3 percent chance to win.

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