Brock Purdy didn't have the best showing of his young NFL career in the 49ers' win over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday, but his response to adversity proved something to Donte Whitner of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Whitner believes Purdy's ability to put the team on his back and lead a 24-21 comeback win with the season on the line makes it easier to determine the quarterback's future with the 49ers, cementing his role as the franchise's starting quarterback.
“After Saturday's big win over the Green Bay Packers, I think it's fair to say Brock Purdy has arrived,” Whitner said on the latest edition of Hitner's Hot Take. “And we can get rid of the 'game manager' tag. He had ice water in his veins. Yes, he missed some shots all day, but when it really mattered in the fourth quarter, Brock Purdy put the offense on his shoulder.” ….
“I think it's fair to say after earning MVP consideration during the season, after leading the 49ers to a big win in the playoffs, we can say the 49ers have a franchise quarterback in Brock Purdy.”
Purdy completed 23 of his 39 attempts for 252 yards, a touchdown and an 86.7 passer rating in Saturday's win. His performance in the first three-and-a-half quarters raised some eyebrows, but he showed up and showed when it mattered most.
His game-winning drive in the final minutes of play followed by Dre Greenlaw's game-sealing interception ultimately secured the title for San Francisco. And while Purdy, coach Kyle Shanahan and several other 49ers players acknowledged there was plenty of room for improvement heading into Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Detroit Lions, Whitner was no less impressed with Purdy's poise down the stretch.
“Juan Jennings' over-center throw was probably his best throw of the year,” Whitner said. “Throw to [Chris] Conley shows on the sideline that he trusts every one of his playmakers, even if they're not starters. The best thing he did was play his role off the field without one of his best playmakers, Deebo Samuel. Entering Saturday's bowl game, the 49ers were 0-3 when Deebo Samuel did not finish the game.
“The Green Bay Packers' defense played well. They did a really good job of redirecting players from the 49ers, which knocked out Brock Purdy's timing. But in the fourth quarter, he tightened the screws. After struggling for the majority of the game, he put Brock Purdy attacks on his shoulders.
Purdy's pro career is just getting started, but if he can help lead San Francisco to Super Bowl LVIII and bring home the franchise's sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy, Whitner's prediction could go from a hot shot to a reality.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”