Purdy's performance for the 49ers keeps silencing the skeptics
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The notion that Brock Purdy is simply a creation of coach Kyle Shanahan's schemes and the best set of playmakers in the NFL gets put to rest the way he plays each week.
Purdy delivered another stellar performance on Sunday to put San Francisco at the top of the NFC standings, throwing for a career-high 368 yards and two touchdowns to lead the 49ers to a 28-16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Purdy leads the NFL in passer rating (116.9), yards per attempt (9.9) and completion rate (70.2%) and is on pace for one of the most efficient seasons ever for an NFL quarterback a little more than a year after being the last pick in the NFL draft.
“I think a lot of people are slow to give him his props just because of his draft status and where he was drafted,” left tackle Trent Williams said.
"If he was Zach Wilson, I think he’d probably be unanimous MVP, the next coming of Aaron Rodgers or somebody like that. But since he’s a 'Mr. Irrelevant' pick, and this is what, almost two years of him putting just unbelievable quarterback play on film and it’s still guys saying, ‘Hey, I think it’s Deebo. I think it’s Trent.’ Yeah, that’s not realistic.”
While Purdy may not be the unanimous MVP choice, he is one of the favorites with the second-best odds to Dallas' Dak Prescott to win the award, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
He also has the Niners (10-3) on their second five-game winning streak of the season in position to claim the top seed in the NFC and a first-round bye if they win their final four games. San Francisco clinched a playoff spot on Monday night when Green Bay lost 24-22 to the New York Giants.
He picked apart Seattle on Sunday with his seventh straight game completing at least 70% of his passes — one shy of Joe Montana's NFL record.
And he didn't just do it with checkdowns and dump-offs, completing all three of his deep throws, including a 54-yard TD pass to Samuel as he becomes more and more comfortable going downfield.
“I feel like we’ve always sort of had shots within plays,” he said. "If the defense gives us a look, we take it. Was I afraid to go deep or anything like that last year? I don’t think so. This year I feel just more aware of what our offense is and where guys are supposed to be and if a defense gives us a look I’m more ready for it and aware of it. So, I have taken deep shots this year.”
Samuel had seven catches for 149 yards and a TD and also ran for a 1-yard score, giving him five TDs and 288 yards from scrimmage the past two weeks. Samuel is the second player in NFL history with at least 100 yards receiving, one TD catch and one TD run in back-to-back games. Timmy Brown did it for the Eagles in 1960.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Clock management. There wasn't much that went wrong on Sunday, but Shanahan did make a mistake late in the first half that cost the Niners a chance to score. Drew Lock was penalized for an illegal forward pass from his 9 with 58 seconds left. The penalty came with a 10-second run off that Shanahan could have turned down to help set up another possession. But the clock ran after the run-off and Seattle only needed to run one play before going to the half.
S Ji'Ayir Brown. There were questions about whether the Niners defense would take a hit after All-Pro Talanoa Hufanga went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 11. But the rookie has responded and had his second interception of the season Sunday to go along with six tackles.
“We don’t throw throw punches to get penalties and we definitely don’t do it to get ejected,” Shanahan said. “He was very remorseful of it. I believe it was a good lesson learned and I think he'll be much better about that in the future.”
DT Javon Hargrave (hamstring) and CB Charvarius Ward (groin) left the game with injuries but have a chance to return this week. ... LB Oren Burks (knee) will likely miss a couple of weeks. ... LB Dre Greenlaw (hip/ankle) is day to day.
9.94. The Niners averaged nearly 10 yards per play for their best mark in a game in the Super Bowl era. They had six plays from scrimmage go for at least 30 yards for the third time since 1991.
San Francisco visits Arizona on Sunday with a chance to clinch the NFC West with a win.
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