Is there any stopping Brock Purdy?
The rookie quarterback, drafted with the final pick of the 2022 NFL draft, started just his second game on Thursday night, and recorded his second successive victory as a starter.
Purdy completed 17 of his 26 pass attempts for 217 yards, threw two touchdowns and no interceptions in the San Francisco 49ers’ 21-13 win over their NFC West division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks.
The win clinched the division for the 49ers – becoming the first team this season to do so – as the team improved its record to 10-4.
And afterwards, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan was full of praise for Purdy.
“He’s definitely the most poised rookie I’ve ever had. He’s been like that since he’s gotten here,” Shanahan said, per the NFL. “He was poised all week, even with him being unsure of whether he’d be able to go or not.
“And under the circumstances, we didn’t have any other choices, we were going to see how long he could last, and we were ready to go with [backup] Josh [Johnson]. But he just got comfortable, he got better as the game went, and it was pretty unbelievable.”
When Purdy was drafted with the 262nd pick earlier this year – earning himself the moniker ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ – he became the 49ers’ third-string quarterback.
But after both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo suffered serious injuries, Purdy was thrown into the fire and has looked experienced beyond his years since doing so.
The former Iowa State star first played a big part in an important victory over the Miami Dolphins having come off the bench following Garoppolo’s injury. And in his first start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he once again steered the team to a win.
However, with just four days between the Bucs game and the division clash with the Seahawks, there were question marks over Purdy’s availability due to injury.
According to the NFL, there were concerns Purdy wouldn’t be able to play right up until hours before kickoff due to an injury to his oblique/rib region.
But the 22-year-old showed no signs of pain against the Seahawks, as with his third-straight game with two touchdown passes, Purdy became the first rookie quarterback to throw for two-plus passing touchdowns in three straight games since Justin Herbert did it in 2020, and the only 49ers rookie to accomplish the feat, per NFL Research.
Purdy joined yet more vaulted company with the stellar performance, becoming the only other quarterback, along with four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, since 1950 to have a passer rating of 115-plus in each of their first two starts, according to NFL Research.
But the grit to fight through the pain barrier was the standout takeaway from Thursday night for Shanahan.
“Definitely another level, it was another level for me just watching someone do it,” Shanahan said, per the NFL. “For him to be able to just play, let alone play the way he did, to protect the ball, he struggled to move a little bit at times, but … The team had a lot of respect for him before that game, but a lot more now.”
49ers tight end George Kittle, who had two touchdowns and 93 receiving yards in the win, was also full of praise for Purdy.
“What Brock has done since he’s come in is he was confident in OTAs … and he diced up the best defense in the NFL, he came in in the preseason games and was threading balls,” Kittle said on the Prime Video postgame show, per the NFL.
“He has had confidence since he came into the building, and everyone on this team has sensed that. And he’s just been waiting for an opportunity, and unfortunately with all the injuries at quarterback he’s finally gotten his opportunity.”