So far in the 2023 season, the San Francisco 49ers have dissected the NFL to the tune of a dominant 5-0 start. And they are not just racking up victories, they’re doing so with surgical precision, matching The League’s best defense with an offense that shows almost no weaknesses. The main man holding the scalpel is quarterback Brock Purdy, who is carving up the opposition in ways even ‘Niners greats like Joe Montana and Steve Young never did.
Purdy, 23, is quickly proving that his rookie year was no fluke and there will be no ‘sophomore jinx’. In fact, despite going undefeated as a starter in 2022, he’s been even better this season. Coming off a franchise-record 20 for 21 passing performance in a 35-16 win against Arizona in week 4, the former Iowa State star absolutely shredded the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football this week.
Brock Purdy guided his team to a dominating 42-10 victory over the Cowboys, throwing four touchdowns. He looked cool and calm in the pocket, like a ten-year veteran, as he tore through a respectable Dallas defense. Big D was one of the top-five NFL defenses against the pass. But that didn’t seem to bother the kid much, as he basically did his best Cool Hand Luke impersonation – shooting holes through the Cowboys with pinpoint accuracy.
With all due respect to his predecessor, Jimmy Garoppolo, it’s been a different offense with Brock Purdy under center. Following the beatdown of Dallas, San Francisco became the fifth team in NFL history to score 30 or more points in at least eight consecutive regular-season games, joining the 1999-2000 Rams (14), 2010-11 Patriots (13), 2012-13 Broncos (11) and 2006-07 Patriots (nine).
All this from a guy who wasn’t supposed to be there. As the very last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Brock Purdy earned the infamous title of ‘Mr. Irrelevant’. So he was essentially celebrated for being one step away from the trash heap.
That was then. This is now. Today, Brock Purdy is among the elite quarterbacks in pro football. He isn’t flashy, and he doesn’t have the running ability of many of his contemporaries. He’s certainly no human highlight reel. But he does one thing that’s the most important thing to do on Sundays.
He wins. He just wins. And there’s nothing ‘Irrelevant’ about that.
Still unbeaten as a starter, Purdy’s rise from the rubble to royalty is very reminiscent of Tom Brady. The comparison – aside from both being very lowly regarded draft selections – is that neither has incredible physical stature. Neither has the biggest body or the biggest arm or even looks like your stereotypical football star. But the pair have the same type of winning instinct. The kind that you can’t teach; it’s just in their DNA.
While Purdy will need about half a dozen Super Bowl rings before he can be put in the same class as The Greatest, he’s definitely got a lot of the same characteristics. And the general belief is that he’s going to capture a Lombardi Trophy (or two) before it’s all said and done.
Brock Purdy is in a great position right now in San Francisco. To go along with his incredible game management and on-field intelligence, he’s also got a ton of weapons at his disposal. Perhaps the NFL’s best all-around player, Christian McCaffrey, is right there in the backfield alongside him. Add in dynamic Deebo Samuel and terrific tight end George Kittle, and you have the makings of a potent offense. Then, you throw in the HIGHLY underrated Brandon Aiyuk and emerging runner Jordan Mason, and you realize that there’s an overflowing offensive arsenal out by the Bay.
Standing in the middle of it all is the NFL’s most accurate passer, who has been picking out playmakers like a kid playing a video game. Right now? Brock Purdy is racking up the high score, and he’s got a pocketful of quarters to spare.
Barring an injury, it’s hard to imagine that this is going to stop. Purdy has mastered the chess match of the NFL like a prodigy, and he’s only going to gain more experience and knowledge from here. In less than two years, he has risen from the bottom of the draft to the top of the game. It’s all due to his ability to think like a computer in the pocket, and then execute the plan with magnificent mechanics.
If the season plays out as expected, the 49ers should be on a collision course with fellow unbeaten Philadelphia for the NFC Championship in January. That big, green mountain is the final peak that Brock Purdy will have to conquer if he wants a shot at the Promised Land this year. But if he succeeds… and then goes on to loft the Lombardi in Las Vegas? He may just trade in the title Mr. Irrelevant for a new one: Mr. MVP
FOLLOW RYAN BOMAN ON X