10 dark-horse Super Bowl MVP candidates who aren’t Patrick Mahomes, Brock Purdy

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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6. George Kittle, TE, 49ers

The 2017 fifth-round pick from the University of Iowa was named to the Pro Bowl this season for the fifth time in six years. Seven-year pro George Kittle also earned All-Pro honors for the second time in his somewhat brief NFL career. In 2023, he finished third on the team with 65 receptions, but second on the club with 1,020 receiving yards. The big-play performer averaged an impressive 15.7 yards per grab.

When it comes to find the end zone, this has not been a big year for a performer who caught 11 touchdown passes in 15 regular-season contests in 2022. If you include his 32-yard TD grab in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, Kittle caught a total of seven scores in 18 overall outings. Three of those touchdowns came in the Week 5 blowout victory over the visiting Dallas Cowboys.

This is not the first time you have read that a tight end has never been named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player, and it won’t be the last in this piece. For the record, the record for most catches by a tight end in a Super Bowl is owned by Cincinnati’s Dan Ross. He pulled down 11 passes, two for scores, in the Bengals’ 26-21 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XVI at the Pontiac Silverdome.