49er of Wild Card Weekend: QB Brock Purdy
The San Francisco 49ers took care of business in Round 1 of the NFL playoffs, taking down the Seattle Seahawks, 41-23, on Wild Card Weekend. Amongst all of the special talents on the roster, none were more vital to the team’s win than rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.
Purdy was electric in his first playoff game, becoming the first rookie QB with four total touchdowns in a playoff game. The Iowa State alum finished the day with 322 passing yards, three passing TDs, one rushing score and no interceptions. More impressively, Purdy was 25 yards away from tying the great Joe Montana (357) for most air yards in a single playoff game by a 49er QB.
Saturday afternoon wasn’t perfect for Purdy by any means though.
Most passing yards in a playoff game by a 49ers QB
1. Joe Montana – 357
2. Joe Montana – 347
3. Brock Purdy – 332 pic.twitter.com/zkKGkKmfP0
— SB Nation (@SBNation) January 15, 2023
Purdy and the 49ers started off rocky against the Seahawks, trailing at halftime 17-16. Missing throws left and right, the offense looked out of wack Saturday in the first half. The unit was able to march down the field on three separate occasions, all of them stalling out inside enemy territory. San Francisco settled for three points, instead of getting all seven, each trip.
The result was another halftime down to their opponents. Despite the lack of cohesiveness at times, head coach Kyle Shanahan was confident that Purdy could get the job done when it mattered most.
“Yeah, there were a couple of open guys that he just missed and so I know when that happens, it sticks out as not playing well because there were plays that he should have made,” Shanahan said postgame. “But all the other plays, he did play well, so when you just have a couple misses you really don’t want to panic. Brock’s an accurate thrower, he has been doing that all year and playing well. He missed a few and I don’t think there was really much of an explanation for it. We had to settle down a little bit and give him a few more opportunities and he got those in the second half and was pretty lethal with them.”
That Purdy was in the second half: Lethal.
The Arizona native produced three second-half TDs Saturday, making the game out of hand for Seattle by the fourth quarter. He almost got his fifth score of the day early in the fourth. Weaving around Seahawk pass rushers, Purdy went from left to right, scrambling around the backfield before getting his feet set and firing a bullet to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the back corner of the endzone. Unfortunately, Aiyuk dropped it.
Nevertheless, it was magical moment for the rook that had the whole stadium, and his team, mesmerized.
Brock Purdy is a MAGICIAN 🤯 pic.twitter.com/yVCmCpL3hT
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) January 15, 2023
Continuing to defy the odds, Purdy remains undefeated in the NFL. Mr. Irrelevant to start the year, Brock Purdy has shown the same fiery edge and confidence to be a household name since Day 1 of training camp back in August.
“Brock knows the situation that he is in. He knows how big of a deal it is, but he also isn’t going to make it more than that,” Shanahan stated. “Brock loves playing football, he looks that way every time he is out on the field, whether it was watching him in college or in practice, he’s got a competitiveness to him, you can see it in his body language because he is extremely competitive and also has a true love for the game and that comes out when you’re successful out there. And some guys show it a little bit more than others, but I think our guys feed off of it too.”
And that they have, with the defense fully confident that the rookie can lead the team to Super Bowl No. 6.
“He’s a special dude,” linebacker Dre Greenlaw said about Brock Purdy. “Just watching him from the sideline, he’s just so poised. It’s unbelievable to have a teammate that’s young like that and can come in when all the odds are stacked against him, Mr. Irrelevant and everything. To come out and still be who you are and play football the way that he plays, it’s just a testament to him and how he was raised and how he’s been brought up. It’s unbelievable, man.”