Why Vikings coach believes George Kittle is so 'nifty' in 49ers attack

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  • Minnesota Vikings
    Minnesota Vikings
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  • San Francisco 49ers
    San Francisco 49ers
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  • George Kittle
    George Kittle
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  • Mike Zimmer
    Coach of American Football

George Kittle might be the best tight end on this planet.

Countering that argument is a fool's errand, especially after the first-team All-Pro compiled his second straight 1,000-yard season.

He's ferocious as a run blocker and brings a unique element to the passing attack that Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer isn't looking forward to during Saturday's NFC divisional round playoff against the 49ers at Levi's Stadium.

Kittle's a problem for most everyone he faces, and Zimmer broke down why that's the case.

"He's great with run after the catch, and they use him on a lot of screens," Zimmer said Tuesday on a conference call. "They use him on rockets and in all different ways. He's very nifty in the passing game. He'll give you a head fake and a shake and go the other way. And he's got great speed. You combine those things with his run-after-catch ability and the way he can get open in routes and it makes him very difficult."

That's an accurate breakdown of what makes Kittle so impactful, especially regarding yards after the catch. Kittle's outstanding in that area, averaging 7.3 yards after making a reception, a shocking total that leads all tight ends by nearly a full yard. It's also better than any wide receiver.

Wrap your brain around that.

His 3.10 yards per route run is sky-high as well, making him the NFL's most efficient pass catcher. That number is better than New Orleans receiver Michael Thomas and Stefon Diggs, who will line up on the opposite sideline on Saturday in this playoff showdown.

[RELATED: 49ers K Gould finds rhythm in time for playoffs]

The 49ers have several players that strike fear, including Emmanuel Sanders and a group of running backs with efficiency and breakaway speed.

There's nobody quite like Kittle, who brings speed with a side of shake-and-bake to the table each week that drives opponents nuts.

Why Vikings coach believes George Kittle is so 'nifty' in 49ers attack originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area