NFC West Reporter
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle put it simply: All Brock Purdy does is run the offense for touchdowns.
“It’s fun — more touchdowns for everybody,” Kittle joked this week. “Our running game has been great. It opens up our passing game. But Brock has been great in the passing game, really. … He’s been very consistent for us.”
Kittle is not wrong. Through 11 games, San Francisco averaged 22.6 points per contest. However, since Purdy has taken over at quarterback, the 49ers have averaged 33.5 points per contest.
“Whether it’s me, (Brandon) Aiyuk, Deebo (Samuel) or Christian (McCaffrey), he’s done a great job of getting us the ball in space and giving us a chance in space to make a play with legs,” Kittle. said
The final pick of the seventh round of last year’s draft, Mr. Irrelevant has been efficient as the leader of San Francisco’s offense.
Purdy completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions, going 5-0 as a starter since Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a foot injury. He has thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of those games.
Read more: This season is the true masterpiece of Kyle Shanahan. Brock Purdy is a testament
Purdy has posted the second-highest passer rating (119.0) of any quarterback through his first five career starts in the Super Bowl era (Kurt Warner, 131.4 in 1999).
And he has also been impressive in situational football. Purdy has completed 73 percent of his passes for 345 yards, with six touchdowns and no interceptions on third down, with a passer rating of 132.4.
For his effort, Purdy was named the NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month this week. Despite playing in just six games, Purdy is also in the conversation for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
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Purdy’s magic has been head coach Kyle Shanahan putting the rookie out of Iowa State in good situations schematically, relying on his ability to make quick decisions and understand where he needs to go. go the ball
One of the reasons Purdy fell in the draft is because he didn’t have ridiculous physical attributes. At the NFL scouting combine, Purdy measured 6-1 and 212 pounds, ran a 4.84-second, 40-yard dash and had a 27-inch vertical jump.
But playing in the NFL on Sundays, Purdy has shown impressive movement inside the pocket, plays with anticipation and has proven to be quick enough to scramble for extra yards if no one is open down the field.
According to Next Gen Stats, Purdy has left the tackle box on 18.2 percent of his throws this season, compared to 8.6 percent for Garoppolo. The 49ers have also more than doubled their designed throw rate since Purdy’s 10.5 percent compared to Garoppolo’s 4.9 percent.
“When I first came in, I had to tell the guys in the Miami game that if the play broke down it could cause something to go into overtime,” Purdy told reporters this week. “This has happened over time. We talked about this in training and in meetings, what to do if the play is not in rhythm and time.”
Purdy’s father, Shawn Purdy, played minor league baseball and played football in high school. This is shown by Purdy’s ability to make throws from different arm angles to get the ball out, along with a solid and consistent throwing base to accurately deliver the football down the field under pressure. And Purdy balances taking risks without being reckless with the football — he’s addicted to making plays and helping to elevate everyone around him.
“He plays with juice, he plays with swagger, and you can see it,” McCaffrey told reporters this week. “And he plays with confidence, but he’s calm. He knows he’s a rookie. But I think he knows he can play very good football in this league. And I think that’s exactly how you would play your rookie quarterback.
San Francisco’s playmakers have made it their job to create block games with the ball in their hands. The 49ers have posted 131 explosive plays (runs of 12+ yards or passes of 16+ yards), No. 5 in the NFL during the regular season.
Purdy will have the added pressure of playing in his first postseason game, looking to become the first rookie quarterback since Russell Wilson to lead the Seattle Seahawks (this weekend’s opener for San Francisco) over the ‘Washington football team to a road win in the 2012 postseason.
It also has another element to worry about: inclement weather. Heavy rain is expected at Levi’s Stadium on Friday. Purdy was able to practice in the rain this week.
“The pressure is always on,” Shanahan told reporters this week. “I think Brock brings that into every game. This game, if you want to sit back and think about all the outside stuff, I’m sure you can get pumped up.
“That’s the one thing I would say through experience, is once you get on the field there’s absolutely nothing different. Whether it’s a playoff game, whether it’s the Super Bowl, whatever you can to do is control the athletic sporting event you participate in. Do nothing more than that.”
Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.
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