How George Kittle's ‘Body Bag' Quote Led to 49ers-Rams Trash Talk

Kittle's 'body bag' quote led to classic 49ers-Rams trash talk originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

INGLEWOOD -- Maybe for the first time in his NFL career, George Kittle became locker room motivation for the opposing team. 

Prior to the 49ers' 27-24 win over the Los Angeles Rams, the All-Pro tight end described the physicality he was expecting from their division matchup. The quote hit home with the Rams' defense, who dominated much of the first half of the game. 

“Apparently I used a body-bag quote that they used in their locker room this entire week,” Kittle said after the game. “I was saying that for both sides of the ball. Like whoever it is, Rams or Niners, someone is leaving in a body bag.”  

The Rams' defense came out of the gate full charge and stifled Kittle and the offense, holding them to three points in the first half. The tight end had only connected for two catches for two yards, and it was starting to look like the 49ers were the ones that were going to be leaving Los Angeles worse for the wear. 

“We go down 17-0,” Kittle said. “And I had five guys chirping at me in my ear saying, ‘Hey, guys are putting you body bag Kittle.’ I was like, ‘A lot of time up on that clock, boys.’ And hopefully I can see them again because that was a fun body-bag game.” 

Kittle plays with incredible intensity, but he is not known for starting a controversy with an opponent. The Rams had a plan for the tight end, holding him to five catches for 10 yards, but that opened up opportunities for his teammates, who were a bigger part of Jimmy Garoppolo’s 316 total passing yards. 

Brandon Aiyuk notched his first 100-yard game of the season and third of his career. Deebo Samuel racked up 140 yards from scrimmage -- 85 receiving and 45 rushing -- and topped it with a touchdown throw. Jauan Jennings caught six of his seven targets for 94 yards. 

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Maybe what Kittle said worked in the 49ers' favor, at least this week. Here was what Kittle said on Thursday before the game: 

“Whenever we play them we just try to come out and be as physical as we possibly can and that’s what we are really good at. I think we are one of the most physical offenses in football coming off the line of scrimmage with offensive line, fullback, tight ends and running backs. 

“And when our wide receivers decide to go hit safeties in the mouth on a run play that changes the game. You either have to match that intensity or get out of the way. It’s definitely going to show up this Sunday who is the more physical team and it’s going to be a body game is my opinion.”

Clearly, Kittle was expecting a physical contest with the Rams -- and he was correct. 

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