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Don’t discount Brock Purdy’s acheivements in 2023 after one bad game

He was in the MVP conversation for a reason, and he is not in the conversation for a separate, though valid reason.

Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Before the San Francisco 49ers played the Baltimore Ravens on December 25th, Brock Purdy was the MVP favorite due him being at the top of numerous statistics, including a superb completion percentage and a ridiculously high passer rating. After the Ravens game he played a game so bad he’s out of the MVP race.

Both are true.

This isn’t a discounting of one over the other. Brock Purdy played at a high level for almost an entire season at the top of nearly every stat made for the position. This wasn’t a one or two-game showpiece. We’ve seen him deliver week after week, even when running into some clunkers during the 49ers’ three-game skid, it wasn’t anything so bad to think of it as more than a rough patch and growing pains.

Then Baltimore happened. On prime time. And its four-interception result doesn’t mean Purdy is a bad quarterback or that all the praise and accolades he made getting there was bogus, it just means he’s not at the top of MVP lists.

Of course beyond it being a bad game on the tail end of a large amount of near-perfect ones (Purdy had only thrown 7 interceptions prior to the Ravens), it seems there’s a lot of hot takes from people saying, “See, I told you so.”

Told us what, exactly?

The same thing said week over week since he came in for Jimmy Garoppolo against the Dolphins? Back in 2022? Just in case you didn’t know, anybody can make the same prediction/argument over and over and over again and be right once. It’s how I’ve accurately predicted I’d win a single game of Battleship out of 90 played against my friends to prove how good I am, and it’s also how many will want to flex their analytical knowledge on sports saying the same thing ad nauseum for nearly four months until that one moment they are right.

Brock Purdy played a bad game. A single bad game. His worst of his career. It happens. A lot. Even the elite quarterbacks will have a single bad game in a championship season. Look at this guy:

I’d like to add that 12/20/2004 game Brady played was against a terrible 4-12 Miami Dolphins squad. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl that year. and Brady went to the Pro Bowl. At least Purdy threw his stinker against one of the better teams in the league.

The only issue anyone should have with Brock Purdy at this point is his longevity. I said on this very site that him getting through a full NFL season was a question mark. I raised an eyebrow when he got concussed against the Vikings and I raise one here with all the stingers he takes. He still hasn’t missed a game. And yes, that’s a legitimate concern. We’re watching several teams in the league deal with quarterback injuries and 49ers fans have lived through the Jimmy Garoppolo injury saga to know the tide that comes when the starter goes down.

So Purdy has been a good quarterback. He didn’t give us two or three games where nobody had film on the guy. The NFL has had plenty of time to keep Purdy from being first in numerous statistics, yet there he is. And to say that was all Kyle Shanahan is nonsense and you know it.

If Brock Purdy is only good because of Kyle Shanahan’s system, why did Nick Mullens only have only two or three good games when filling in for Jimmy Garoppolo? Oh because he didn’t have Deebo Samuel?

OK, Why did Jimmy Garoppolo not have near the success Purdy is having despite having all the playmakers? We’ve watched the very same throw Garoppolo botched in the Super Bowl to Emmanuel Sanders get completed by Purdy more than once. He has weapons, but every quarterback does. To say that Purdy only got into the MVP conversation because of the team he’s on or the coach he has is just incorrect. We’ve seen what other quarterbacks have done with this same system, and it’s not a step, but a giant jump back. There was a reason he was in the MVP conversation and it wasn’t anything overrated. You don’t overrate being at the top of every stat made for the position, or having one/two WOW throws a game to go along with it.

And lost in all of this is the fact it’s Purdy’s second season. This guy was MVP for weeks and it was only his second season in the league. First as the true starter if you want to get technical. Aaron Rodgers needed two full years starting with that same Green Bay Packers squad before he won a Super Bowl in year three, and even after some wonder why it took him that long. Rodgers didn’t have his first comeback win as a starter until his second season.

Purdy is still learning. And no doubt he learned from the clunker on Monday of some things not to do. He was in the conversation for a reason, and he’s out of MVP talk for another reason. Both are true, both are valid, and one does not invalidate the other. He’s the first 49er since Jeff Garcia to have over 4,000 yards passing, that should say something about the 49ers’ QB situation for the last couple decades.

I’m more curious how he responds after “getting exposed.” All the greats know how to do that.