Brock Purdy might not have completed Tremendous Bowl night time as a champion, however he greater than validated himself in defeat.
The San Francisco 49ers got here up brief as they misplaced to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, 25-22, in extra time in Tremendous Bowl LVIII. And whereas Purdy and the Niners must undergo one other offseason of questions of whether or not or not they will beat the Chiefs when it counts, this “sport supervisor” label surrounding Purdy must be put to relaxation.
The 24-year-old, second-year quarterback matched Patrick Mahomes — one of the best quarterback within the sport and one who has an opportunity at dethroning Tom Brady as the best ever — till the Chiefs’ closing possession of the sport, delivering a mistake-free sport whereas twice giving his staff the lead within the fourth quarter and extra time whereas it was tied.
Purdy’s closing numbers of the night time had been as follows: 22-of-38 for 255 yards with one landing, no turnovers and only one sack taken all night time towards the Chiefs’ ferocious defensive entrance.
If there was one criticism that could possibly be pointed in the direction of Purdy’s manner it’s that he didn’t convert these late subject targets into touchdowns to seal the sport. Purdy got here up brief twice — as soon as on the Chiefs’ 9-yard-line — in Kansas Metropolis territory on Third-and-5 or much less, with the Niners settling for subject targets as a substitute.
Mr. Irrelevant — the final decide of the 2022 NFL Draft — took possession of that following the sport.
“We now have the staff and the offense to attain touchdowns & I did not put our staff in place to try this,” mentioned Purdy after the sport.
The extra deciding components in Purdy shedding the sport wasn’t a lot the sector targets because it was the Niners making extra errors. The botched punt return and the blocked further level had been extra expensive than Purdy failing to guide landing drives on the final two possessions.
It’s additionally price noting that San Francisco’s protection did not cease Mahomes on a fourth down and the truth that Niners truly held a 10-point lead on this sport.
Whereas Purdy actually doesn’t play the sport for ethical victories — or the media’s approval — his gutsy efficiency the place he matched Mahomes blow-for-blow till the very finish (with one much less turnover) ought to put to relaxation this foolish “sport supervisor” label that’s solely in place due to his draft historical past.
When Brady completed an identical diploma of success 20 years prior — as a fellow late draft decide — he was additionally saddled with the “sport supervisor” label. The distinction was, it was mentioned with a extra constructive spin relatively than it being a criticism.
The “sport supervisor” label assigned to Purdy is alleged in a disparaging manner regardless of his two fourth quarter comebacks — together with a 17-point deficit within the NFC Championship Recreation — within the playoffs main into this sport.
Moreover, pretty much as good as Brady was in the course of the Patriots’ first dynasty, he wasn’t a high 5 MVP candidate in his second 12 months because the starter.
No, this isn’t to disparage Brady and put Purdy on the identical degree as him. That is to show some extent that Purdy is definitely additional alongside than Brady was via their first two seasons.
That’s saying one thing, regardless that folks might not wish to admit it.
In simply his second 12 months — and his first full season as a starter coming off of a critical damage — he led the NFL in a number of passing classes, together with passer ranking, yards per completion and yards per try. He broke the franchise single-season report for passing yards on a staff that has two all-time greats at quarterback in Joe Montana and Steve Younger.
A “sport supervisor” that’s given this label in a unfavourable manner is a quarterback who can’t lead comebacks or the sport must be performed completely to ensure that him to win video games. Moreover, a “sport supervisor” doesn’t lead the NFL in a number of passing classes in his first full season as a starter.
And he’s a sport supervisor, why? As a result of he performs on a stacked staff with a number of Professional Bowlers and a well-respected head coach in Kyle Shanahan? As a result of he was the No. 262 decide within the draft?
Former NFL quarterback Christian Ponder mentioned it finest when he defined why the “sport supervisor” label assigned to Purdy is foolish.
“It is so humorous how being a sport supervisor is a knock on quarterbacks,” mentioned Ponder earlier than the sport. “Is not that what you need? Is not that what a quarterback is? You must handle the sport. You have to be limiting turnovers, get the ball to the playmakers, allow them to do it, that is your job and he is accomplished that job rather well. He is within the Tremendous Bowl.”
Coming into this sport, the “sport supervisor” label assigned to Purdy was lazy and disrespectful. And whereas that narrative in all probability received’t change in lots of people’s eyes as a result of loss, Purdy proved one main factor in defeat.
He’s greater than only a “sport supervisor.” He’s truly a high quarterback.