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George Kittle
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Blue 42: Seahawks will have to account for 49ers rising star

49ers tight end George Kittle (AP)

The Seahawks may have won their last showdown with the San Francisco 49ers handily, but they’ll still have their work cut out for them on Sunday, going up against one of the NFL’s rising stars in tight end George Kittle.

“George Kittle is right there with Travis Kelce, with Gronk, as being one of the best tight ends in the game,” 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard said in this week’s Blue 42 segment.

Kittle is currently Pro Football Focus’s third-ranked tight end in all of football, and is fresh off of a career game, where he torched the Denver Broncos for 210 yards on 7 catches in just the first half.

Against the Hawks two weeks ago, though, Kittle was well-handled.

“They did a pretty good job against him,” said Huard. “I was shocked looking at the stats this morning, seeing 6 [catches] for 70 [yards], it didn’t feel like George Kittle had any impact on that game a couple weeks ago.”

That being so, it doesn’t mean that Kittle should be overlooked on Sunday. With 49ers rookie signal-caller Nick Mullens at the helm, the young tight end could very well be the focal point of the San Francisco offense.

“If I know a young starting quarterback — and Nick Mullens is a young, first-time starting quarterback — who’s he going to be looking for?” asked Huard. “Where’s my outlet; where’s that security blanket; where is George Kittle?”

To that, Huard had one piece of advice: “The Seahawks better make sure they account for Kittle come Sunday afternoon.”