So far in 2022, Brock Purdy has been drafted into the NFL as Mr. Irrelevant, made his NFL debut in some late game garbage time action, and most improbably of all, effortlessly stepped into the role of the San Francisco 49ers‘ starting quarterback without skipping a beat. While Purdy hasn’t been perfect, he’s consistently found way to impress fans with each passing week, and the penultimate game of the regular season was no different, as the Iowa State product led his team to an overtime victory over the the Las Vegas Raiders.
One of those fans who was exceptionally impressed by Purdy’s performance was his favorite target in the game, Brandon Aiyuk, who complemented his QB during his media session.
“He handled it great. He did a great job,” Aiyuk said. “Super calm dude. The moment’s never too big for him. I think we’re not just going out there and trying to put a plan together to where everybody picks up and we kind of hide what he’s got going on or he’s not ready. He’s out there leading two-minute drives, signaling, out wide, changing play calls while we’re going into two minutes. Today just really showed us that I think this dude is on a different level. I think he can play for sure.”
While Purdy did throw a regrettable pick on the Niners’ third drive of the second half, the rookie quarterback didn’t let it get to him and got his team in scoring position on each of the final five drives of the game. Fortunately, Purdy had a pretty good wide receiver to throw to down the stretch; a player he was equally complimentary of after the game.
Brock Purdy Appreciates his Reliable San Francisco 49ers WR
Despite turning in his most consistent season as a professional yet, Aiyuk failed to pass into triple digits, at least until Week 17, when Purdy connected with the Arizona State product nine times on 12 targets for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Asked about his connection with Aiyuk, Purdy was similarly complimentary of his top wide receiver.
“He’s just a reliable guy,” Purdy told reporters. “It wasn’t like we’re going into the game like, ‘All right, we’ve got to dial all the stuff up for BA,’ or anything like that. It was really for everyone to get open and do their part.”
“BA does a great job in winning his man-to-man matchups. He does a great job of creating space. I trust him in terms of where he’s going to be. At the end of the game, for him to do his thing, all I did was to put the ball on him and let him get yards after the catch. Great job by Brandon overall, man. I love that guy, I trust him, and I’m very happy for him.”
With Deebo Samuel expected to return in the not-too-distant future, either in the regular season finale or the opening round of the playoffs, having two wide receivers capable of playing at a Pro Bowl level should make Purdy’s life a whole lot easier, especially with Christian McCaffrey sharing the offensive backfield.
Christian McCaffrey Has High Praise for Brandon Aiyuk Too
Speaking with reporters after coming just seven yards shy of a 200-yard all-purpose game, McCaffrey Complemented Aiyuk for making his life easier.
“Beast mode, he went full beast mode on that last drive,” McCaffrey said. “And that’s who he is. He’s a beast. And the things that he does are special, and especially in crunch time. For him to have a game like that and, you know, put our team on his back was awesome because we needed him, and he showed up.”
On the 49ers’ final drive of regulation, Aiyuk caught all four of the balls throws his way for 52 and set Robbie Gould up for a field goal that he ultimately missed. If ever one drive cemented a player as a star – or, in McCaffrey’s vernacular, a beast – that was it.