Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle Make Bold Statements About Brock Purdy

49ers Christian McCaffrey (right)

Getty 49ers Christian McCaffrey (right)

Brock Purdy isn’t mentioned in the same conversations as Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen and the group of elite young quarterbacks in the current NFL landscape.

San Francisco 49ers star running back Christian McCaffrey has a much different opinion about his starting QB and believes smart coaches and NFL executives around the league have a different perception of Purdy than the casual fan.

“I don’t think anyone [paying attention] is missing how good he is,” McCaffrey told Mike Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I think everybody [in football] know’s he’s phenomenal. At some point, that just becomes who he is.”

49ers starting tight end George Kittle echoed McCaffrey’s statement, telling Silver that Purdy is “everything you want in a young quarterback. He takes risks, but he’s careful with the ball. He has great presence in the pocket. We’re gonna keep winning games. He’s gonna keep getting opportunities. And eventually, people will figure out how good he is.”

After two games, the 49ers are 2-0, and Purdy is tied with the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott for first in Total QBR with 83.7, according to Pro Football Reference.

Why is that significant?

Unlike the more statistics-based passer rating, QBR measures a wide array of subjective in-game situational factors, including the defensive pressure on the quarterback, the difficulty of each play and the strength of the defense.

Brock Purdy Throws No TDs for First Time

Purdy’s successful start to 2023 hasn’t been without blemishes.

“Sunday was a game for Purdy’s critics, or at least the skeptics who still think he isn’t ready to wear the crown as the franchise QB for a Super Bowl contender,” The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II wrote on September 18.

In Week 1, Purdy lit up the stat sheet in a commanding 30-7 road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers finishing the game 19-of-29 for 220 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. But in Week 2, his 10th NFL start, Purdy had a few overthrown passes and missed opportunities.

“So much has gone well for Purdy during this magical start to his career, he was probably due for an off night,” Thompson wrote. “This is just part of the unfolding saga of Purdy — the last draft pick and fourth-stringer turned rightful heir.”

He didn’t record a touchdown pass for the first time in his career, but he also didn’t turn over the ball.

“The main thing he did today was protect the ball,” head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the game. “When he was under duress, he was smart.”

Purdy still finished with a 68% completion percentage and 202 yards, as well as a rushing touchdown, in leading the 49ers to a 30-23 victory on the road.

Brock Purdy’s Unexpected NFL Rise

Purdy’s improbable story begins with him being the very last pick of the 2022 NFL draft. Injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo then propelled him from third-string backup into the starting role. And he shined in a major way.

Purdy won all five of his regular season starts, and the success kept rolling into the playoffs, where he became the first 49ers rookie to start and win a postseason game, throwing for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns to knock off the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round. He then led San Francisco to a playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys to advance to the NFC Championship game, where he tore a ligament in his elbow against the Philadelphia Eagles and was forced to exit the game, ending his magical inaugural campaign.

He finished regular the season 114-of-170 for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He continued to play well in the playoffs, finishing the postseason 41-of-63 for 591 yards and 3 touchdowns, while adding a rushing touchdown.

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