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 time beyond regulation 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 “recreation 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 recreation 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 recreation whereas twice giving his staff the lead within the fourth quarter and time beyond regulation whereas it was tied.
Purdy’s closing numbers of the night time have been as follows: 22-of-38 for 255 yards with one landing, no turnovers and only one sack taken all night time in opposition to the Chiefs’ ferocious defensive entrance.
If there was one criticism that may very well be pointed in the direction of Purdy’s approach it’s that he didn’t convert these late area 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 area targets as a substitute.
Mr. Irrelevant — the final choose of the 2022 NFL Draft — took possession of that following the sport.
“We now have the staff and the offense to attain touchdowns & I didn’t put our staff in place to do this,” stated 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 have been extra pricey than Purdy failing to steer landing drives on the final two possessions.
It’s additionally price noting that San Francisco’s protection didn’t cease Mahomes on a fourth down and the truth that Niners truly held a 10-point lead on this recreation.
Whereas Purdy definitely 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 “recreation supervisor” label that’s solely in place due to his draft historical past.
When Brady completed an analogous diploma of success twenty years prior — as a fellow late draft choose — he was additionally saddled with the “recreation supervisor” label. The distinction was, it was stated with a extra optimistic spin relatively than it being a criticism.
The “recreation supervisor” label assigned to Purdy is alleged in a disparaging approach regardless of his two fourth quarter comebacks — together with a 17-point deficit within the NFC Championship Sport — within the playoffs main into this recreation.
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 a degree that Purdy is definitely additional alongside than Brady was by means of their first two seasons.
That’s saying one thing, despite the fact that individuals might not wish to admit it.
In simply his second 12 months — and his first full season as a starter coming off of a severe harm — 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 document for passing yards on a staff that has two all-time greats at quarterback in Joe Montana and Steve Younger.
A “recreation supervisor” that’s given this label in a destructive approach is a quarterback who can’t lead comebacks or the sport needs to be performed completely to ensure that him to win video games. Moreover, a “recreation supervisor” doesn’t lead the NFL in a number of passing classes in his first full season as a starter.
And he’s a recreation 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 choose within the draft?
Former NFL quarterback Christian Ponder stated it finest when he defined why the “recreation supervisor” label assigned to Purdy is foolish.
“It is so humorous how being a recreation supervisor is a knock on quarterbacks,” stated Ponder earlier than the sport. “Is not that what you need? Is not that what a quarterback is? You need to handle the sport. You ought to be limiting turnovers, get the ball to the playmakers, allow them to do it, that is your job and he is finished that job rather well. He is within the Tremendous Bowl.”
Coming into this recreation, the “recreation supervisor” label assigned to Purdy was lazy and disrespectful. And whereas that narrative most likely 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 “recreation supervisor.” He’s truly a high quarterback.