The 49ers have three passing touchdowns over 20 yards with Brock Purdy under center. They had one all season when Jimmy Garoppolo was under center. It’s a small sample size considering Purdy has only played three games, but if we break it down to what’s necessary to win in the NFL, Purdy is exceeding expectations.
When blitzed or pressured, Purdy is fifth in the NFL in yards per attempt, with nine of his 14 completions resulting in a first or touchdown. The quarterbacks in front of Purdy are Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, and, naturally, Kirk Cousins.
That tells us that despite being put in uncomfortable situations where you have to perform off-script, Purdy is looking to make the defense pay with a big play. We’ve always known this, but it’s refreshing to see the skill players put in a position to win down the field
Both of Purdy’s touchdown passes last Thursday highlight the difference between him and Garoppolo and why the ceiling of this offense is arguably higher. Again, it’s a small sample size, and Purdy must continue to prove himself as more film on him gets out. But he should be commended for the way he’s playing the position.
Watch the video below to see some traits he possesses to win at quarterback. First, Purdy is rarely if ever, bothered by pressure:
Seattle is a difficult place to play. Thursday was Purdy’s first road test. He had an interception that was dropped, but he never wavered. Here’s George Kittle on Purdy’s performance after the game:
“What a game for him. He came in against Miami and played at a high level. Did the same thing last week. Did the same thing this week. Since we drafted him, he’s had confidence. He was making throws in OTAs. He came in preseason and won the #2 spot. He’s been going against the best defense in the league for the last 13 weeks plus, so he was definitely getting better week in and week out. You could see him making throws against our starting defense with scout team players. He’s a prepared rookie. He’s focused. He’s dialed in. And he’s taking advantage.”
Purdy’s executing what Kyle Shanahan is asking of him. We know that Shanahan lives in the middle of the field, or that was at least the case with Jimmy under center. During this 3-game stretch, Purdy is 11-for-15 — three drops, and you can add another dropped interception — with the second-highest average in yards per attempt on throws between 10-19 yards.
The 49ers' offense hasn’t missed a beat in three games with a seventh-round quarterback. That’s a credit to everyone involved, but it’s impossible to ignore Purdy’s contributions.