It may be time for us to cease with the “game manager” label on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.
Purdy has hear the criticisms all year long.
“He isn’t one of the best players on his own offense.”
“He has no arm strength.”
“A team will never win because of him.”
Those were just some of the knocks that Purdy took throughout the year in spite of the fact that he threw for 4,280 yards, 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 69.4 percent of his passes and leading the league with a 113 passer rating. In spite of him finishing fourth in MVP voting. In spite of him guiding the 49ers to the best record in the NFC.
But during San Francisco’s Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, there were moments when Purdy looked even more poised than Patrick Mahomes.
Now, obviously, Mahomes led the Chiefs on the game-winning touchdown drive in overtime. He looked brilliant. He looked seasoned. He looked like the best player in football again.
However, early on, it was Purdy who appeared to be the more cool, calm and collected between the two, as he was throwing lasers to his receivers and didn’t look the least bit shaken by pressure.
He evaded sacks. He stepped up in the pocket. He was patient. He took hits.
Purdy did exactly what you would expect from an elite quarterback in the biggest of moments and did not seem the slightest bit fazed.
Of course, in the second half, the Niners’ offense stalled, and yes; Purdy did make some poor throws. But let’s be honest: he wasn’t getting much protection, and the 49ers’ entire offense was teetering. That includes the rather questionable playcalling from Kyle Shanahan.
Still, we have to examine Purdy’s performance as a whole, and there is no doubt that he looked good for much of the evening.
Is he as flashy as Christian McCaffrey? No. Does he possess the versatility of Deebo Samuel? No. Is he as talented as George Kittle or Brandon Aiyuk? Probably not.
But that speaks more to how loaded San Francisco’s roster is than it does to Purdy himself.
The fact of the matter is that there are tons of teams around the NFL who would love to have Purdy as their quarterback.
People will still call Purdy a game manager, and that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just find it hard to cast that type of aspersion on a guy who led the league in passer rating, yards gained per pass attempt and yards gained per pass completion.
I also find it hard to imagine that a so-called game manager would throw for over 4,000 yards and over 30 touchdowns.
Regardless of how you feel about Purdy, you cannot deny how comfortable he looked for most of the night at the young age of 24.
Brock Purdy has a chance to be a great quarterback, and Sunday’s loss may prove to be a critical stepping stone in his journey.