Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch views George Kittleā€™s catch vs. Chargers as turning point for 49ers

Nov 18, 2022 at 12:04 PM--

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle had just one catch for 21 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night. It was an impressive effort, though. One person inside the organization even believes it may have been the play that turned everything around in the game for the Niners. The team didn't seem to be clicking for much of the first half.

"It did feel like, being there, like the energy wasn't right," general manager John Lynch said Thursday on KNBR's Tolbert & Copes show. "It didn't feel like the crowd was really into it."

Lynch wanted to clarify that his comments were not meant to put down the 49ers fans at Levi's Stadium that night. Things just seemed off.

"I think everybody, it was like we were all coming off the bye week," Lynch continued. "I don't want to just assign blame to that, but it didn't feel like we were clicking on all cylinders."

Then Kittle hauled in his lone reception in the second quarter. He was targeted just twice in the game.

"I felt like the Kittle play across the middle, him doing what George does, getting another 10 yards before contact, and carrying a guy another seven, eight yards, I felt like that kind of woke up our team. After that, I felt like we were clicking, and then we did get in a rhythm."

The tight end isn't concerned with the lack of targets so long as his team ends up with the win.

"I'd love more than two targets, but it is what it is," Kittle told reporters on Thursday. "We are winning the games, but I love the ball in my hands, and I like to provide a spark for the offense."

Kyle Shanahan was asked about the offense not clicking on Sunday night. The head coach defended his offense, saying that despite some missed opportunities, the unit was able to move the football well against the Chargers.

"I think Kyle kind of hit the nail on the head," Lynch continued. "We moved the ball. And you talk about the third downs; we were very effective on third downs against a good third-down team in the Chargers. But we didn't do a really good job of finishing the drives in the red zone."

The 49ers scored 22 points in the win over the Chargers. Unfortunately, that happens to be the team's average per game this season, which ranks No. 18 in the NFL.

"That very easily could have been a 30-point game for us, and I think that should be our expectation," Lynch said. "We've got that type of ability, and we should strive for that. We should be a tough team to stop, and I think if we can play just a little bit more consistently and then finish drives with touchdowns—we have the capability to do that—I think there's some good things coming."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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