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San Francisco 49ers

Can 49ers QB Brock Purdy Make History In San Francisco?

After losing Trey Lance in Week Two, the 49ers had to return to Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. However, Garoppolo injured his foot last week and is likely out for the remainder of the season. With those injuries, the Niners’ title hopes are in the hands of elite defense and the rookie “Mr. Irrelevant” QB from Iowa State, Brock Purdy.

49ers Brock Purdy

49ers With Brock Purdy

The 49ers have a loaded roster with enough talent to win a Super Bowl. However, now that the offense is being handed to a rookie who was the final pick of the NFL draft, those chances just got very slim. No rookie starting quarterback has ever won a Super Bowl.

The offense for San Francisco should run very similarly to how it did with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. It should still be an offense heavily reliant on the rushing attack, short to intermediate passes and yards after the catch. Luckily for the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan has one of the most QB-friendly offenses and can still be successful even with mediocre QB play.

Brock Purdy vs. Jimmy Garoppolo

The differences between Purdy and Garoppolo are experience and arm strength. Purdy does not have as strong of an arm as Garoppolo and has minimal NFL experience. The Iowa State QB has also taken backup reps in practice all year long, making the victory over Miami on Sunday his only experience throwing to the starters.

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Purdy also tends to hold onto the ball longer than Jimmy G, which, combined with the lack of velocity on his throws, can be problematic against elite and speedy defenses. However, Purdy is a much better athlete than Garoppolo, which was apparent during last week’s game.

Garoppolo is not the type of quarterback to scramble outside the pocket, extend plays with his legs and make throws off-platform. While Garoppolo is a better quarterback, Brock Purdy can maneuver differently than Jimmy G, leading to unscripted success and more improvisation within the offense with these playmakers.

What Purdy Needs To Produce To Make The Super Bowl

It sounds incredibly far-fetched that the 49ers could advance to a Super Bowl with a Mr. Irrelevant quarterback. However, it is not a stretch if you look at San Francisco’s playoff runs with Jimmy Garoppolo.

Your first thought when thinking of a third-string quarterback is that they are below average according to NFL standards. That is precisely what Jimmy Garoppolo has been in both playoff runs with the 49ers. In Garoppolo’s playoff career, he has thrown our touchdown passes and six interceptions, a two-to-three ratio.

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Jimmy G only attempted eight passes in an NFC Championship game when the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl. Last season, Garoppolo, battling injury, didn’t account for a single touchdown but threw an interception in both playoff victories against top-ranked offenses on the road.

So what is the bar for Brock Purdy, assuming the 49ers advance to the playoffs? Purdy needs to be better than Garoppolo during the two runs the Niners have had in the playoffs. To play better than Garoppolo in the playoffs is asking Purdy to be average with all the versatile weapons on offense. It will be up to the top-ranked defense in the NFL to stay healthy and continue their dominance throughout the playoffs.

Purdy, a rookie, is bound to stink it up here and there, but the 49ers have been one of the least QB-reliant teams in the NFL and have been one of the most successful the last few years when healthy. If he can keep the offense afloat and let his playmakers do the work, the Niners have an excellent chance at winning a wide-open NFC and advancing to the Super Bowl.

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If so, it would genuinely be a story-book season for Purdy. The Super Bowl will occur this season at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Brock Purdy, who is an Arizona native and went to Perry High School in Queen Creek, would be able to start a Super Bowl as Mr. Irrelevant and have a chance to be the first-ever rookie starting QB to win a Super Bowl in his hometown.


Written By

Managing Editor for the NFC West at Stadium Rant | Host of The Polo Show Podcast covering Bay Area sports

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