Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers had wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel racing open down the field as he dropped back to make his first postseason pass.
But Brock Purdy’s initial pass missed both wideouts and came dangerously close to being intercepted. Perhaps a case of playoff jitters for the rookie quarterback?
Later, Brock Purdy acknowledged that he could sense the significance and excitement of Saturday’s wild-card game against the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks, and that it might have contributed to his inconsistent first half of passing.
However, the 49ers’ 41-23 victory over Seattle at halftime erased whatever factors may have led to Brock Purdy’s misses in the first half.
In his first appearance in the postseason, Brock Purdy completed 18 of 30 passes for 332 yards, three touchdowns, and one running score.
Brock Purdy accomplished a number of records as a result, including being the lowest-drafted rookie quarterback to start and win a playoff game.
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Brock Purdy Factors
- Since Russell Wilson in 2012, Brock Purdy became the first rookie quarterback to win a playoff game.
- Brock Purdy, who is 23 years and 18 days old, has surpassed Dan Marino to become the NFL player with the most 300+ passing yards and 3+ touchdown passes in a postseason game. Marino, coincidentally, is the cause Brock Purdy dons No. 13.
- Purdy, along with Kurt Warner (2011) and Matthew Stafford (2012), is the third player in NFL history to start a postseason game with at least four touchdowns and 300-plus yards (1999).
- Purdy shared the record for the longest stretch by a rookie in NFL history with Justin Herbert after seven straight games with multiple passing touchdowns.
- Additionally, it shares the second-longest run of its kind in 49ers history with Steve Young.
- Purdy is the first player selected with the last choice in the NFL draft since 1967 to score a touchdown in the postseason.
Regardless of the circumstance, Brock Purdy’s teammates and coaches continue to exhibit a complete lack of astonishment at the quarterback’s continuous performance.
“You could feel his confidence when he came in the huddle, and that just felt like old Brock. I get it. Playoffs, there’s a lot going on. A lot more cameras, a lot more media. He did exactly what he needed to do for us to win that game. I think he’s just going to continue to do that and play at a high level for us.” tight end George Kittle said.
Brock Purdy and the Niners moved the ball across for the most of the first half, but they had trouble scoring touchdowns to cap off drives.
Purdy was asked to take fewer long shots by the Niners as part of their adjustment.
In the second half, that number fell to 8.2 from the first half’s average of 11.7 air yards per attempt.
The end result was a half in which Brock Purdy completed 9 out of 11 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.
Had Aiyuk not intercepted a perfectly placed pass in the corner of the end zone, there might have been a third score.
And Brock Purdy utilized his legs to extend plays and make things happen when he didn’t have receivers open or faced pressure from Seattle’s defense.
His average throw time on Saturday was 3.63 seconds, which is the longest throw time in a game this year among players who had at least 25 tries.
With around 10 minutes left in the third quarter, the Niners received some extra incentive from Seahawks safety Johnathan Abram, despite their assurances that they would immediately overcome their halftime deficit.
Abram seemed to cling on to one of Samuel’s ankles after the play and twist it after his 21-yard catch and run.
Samuel claimed that the twist hurt and that he didn’t get up because he didn’t want to get even.
Tensions rose as the 49ers scored on Brock Purdy’s 1-yard sneak five plays later and went on to score 25 unanswered points to win the game.
When Brock Purdy learned that LeBron James had tweeted about him after the game, he described it as “amazing.”
PURDY GOT GAME!!!!!!!!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 14, 2023
The Minnesota Vikings (if they win) or the winner of the Dallas Cowboys-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game will be Brock Purdy’s opponents in the NFC divisional round the following week, giving him another chance to have an influence on the playoffs (if Vikings lose).