“Purdy has been typecast by many as the prototypical game manager. A passenger more than a driver. A beneficiary more than a benefactor. A loss preventer more than a victory retriever. The game manager label is basically a pejorative in modern quarterback discourse.
But Sunday, the 49ers needed something more. Their season was on the line. Their championship hopes were slipping away.
Purdy became who they needed him to be: a playmaker, a difference maker. In the second half, he was 13-for-16 passing for 174 yards and a touchdown. No interceptions. His 49 rushing yards was the best evidence he wasn’t merely a passenger in this historic comeback. He was driving.”
“Javon Kinlaw told 95.7 The Game his group didn’t change much. The key in the second half? ... it’s better you read it from him.
“We really didn’t change anything,” Kinlaw said. “We just knew it was gut check time and we had to drop our nuts right there. Let ‘em hang and be who we are. Allow destiny to take over.”
As much as that comment might make you laugh, Kinlaw’s serious about that destiny. And with the bounces they got — which even Williams described as “lucky” and founded in providence — it’s understandable to feel that way.
Kinlaw, as much as anyone, can appreciate the journey to get to this point. He was barely been on the field the first three years of his career with knee injuries, and is now playing a key role on the interior. While his run defense has been inconsistent, he helped force a Jahmyr Gibbs run stop, and got a key pressure on Jared Goff.
As he was talking about that journey, defensive line coach Kris Kocurek came up to him and locker mate Kevin Givens. He locked eyes with each one, holding up his index finger with the intensity only Kocurek can.
“One more,” he said. “One more.”
“Shanahan, who’d seemed to be coaching not to lose against the Packers, changed his vibe in the second half of Sunday’s game.
“Players over plays,” he told his assistants, stressing the need to get the ball to the 49ers’ playmakers at the expense of coming up with perfectly crafted calls.”
“Tight end George Kittle (toe) and cornerback Ambry Thomas (ankle) are day to day, Shanahan said.”
“The 49ers will structure the week to get most of their preparations done well in advance of traveling.
The team will go through practices on Thursday, Friday and Saturday — almost as if they are preparing to play this weekend.
Because there are so many forces pulling in different directions in the Super Bowl city, most of the work has to get done at the team’s facility in Santa Clara before they depart for Las Vegas on Sunday.
“Growing up, all the teams I talked to, that was one of the most important things,” Shanahan said. “When you wait to do stuff there, it just gets too hectic.
“You can always change things and tighten it up, but you want to get most of your heavy work done before you get there.”
“A fired-up Williams spoke to the offensive and defensive lines during warmups, then had one of his best games of the season. He allowed no pass pressures and came away with a 90.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, his second highest of the season (93.2 versus the Washington Commanders in Week 16).”
“Shanahan and plenty of 49ers partied after their comeback 34-31 win over the Lions in the NFC Championship Game. By late Monday afternoon, however, Shanahan was talking with reporters on a conference call (he was about 15 minutes late, perhaps because he was in slow motion) and was ready to turn the page on an epic playoff win that included a 24-7 halftime deficit.
“We’re done with the tape,” Shanahan said. “It’s really just hitting me now: But we’re done with yesterday, too. It’s all time to move ahead.”
Shanahan and his staff will do so at a breakneck pace. The players will have Tuesday and Wednesday off while Shanahan and his staff cram. They will have the game plans ready for Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas when the players return Thursday for the first of three straight practices.”
“The Chiefs owned a top defense in the NFL, as the opposition managed just 289.8 yards per game and 17.3 points per game against defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s group.
Defensive tackle Chris Jones has been one of the NFL’s best for a while. He was one of the key players in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV when he batted down three Jimmy Garoppolo pass attempts at the line of scrimmage.
Jones and defensive end George Karlaftis tied for the Kansas City lead with 10.5 sacks apiece during the regular season. Former 49ers defensive lineman Charles Omenihu added seven sacks, though left Sunday’s game with a knee injury, but vowed to be ready for the Super Bowl.
Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed is Kansas City’s best cover man. He came through with one of the big plays on Sunday against Baltimore when he stripped Ravens receiver Zay Flowers for a second-half turnover at the goal line. Nickel back Trent McDuffie was named first-team All-Pro for his work against slot receivers.”
“The most memorable play in the San Francisco 49ers’ 34-31 defeat of the Detroit Lions in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game was Brandon Aiyuk’s lunging third-quarter catch of a Brock Purdy pass that twice caromed off a defender.
Here’s a moment-by-moment recap of the catch, as captured by Chronicle photographers.”