Brock Purdy might not need to throw vs. Seahawks in Week 15
By Peter Panacy
Brock Purdy might be a bit banged up, but the 49ers could still simply run the ball like crazy against a weak Seahawks defense on Thursday Night Football.
A reasonable thought heading into the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 14 home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was to believe head coach Kyle Shanahan wouldn’t ask too much of his rookie quarterback, now-starter Brock Purdy, while facing off against a top-five defense under Bucs head coach Todd Bowles.
Instead, the Niners would just run the ball as much as possible, right?
Well, San Francisco did run a lot in what turned into a 35-7 rout. But Purdy also made a ton of veteran-like throws in what was his first-ever NFL start.
Perhaps Shanahan trusts Purdy a lot more than anyone could have imagined.
However, Purdy suffered an oblique strain during the game, an injury that puts some minor doubt as to whether or not he’ll be available for the 49ers’ short-week contest in Week 15 on Thursday Night Football against the 7-6 Seattle Seahawks from Lumen Field.
Nearly every sign is pointing toward Purdy being available, yet the pain might limit him from doing as much as he did against Tampa Bay last Sunday.
The good news for Purdy? He might not have to do much at all with his arm.
Seahawks defense can’t stop the run, 49ers will save Brock Purdy the trouble
After what was originally a surprising start for the Niners’ NFC West rivals, aside from losing to San Francisco in Week 2, the Hawks have come back down to earth in recent weeks.
Losers of three of its last four games, Seattle is looking much more like the team most NFL experts expected it to be heading into Week 1. And while quarterback Geno Smith and the offense have still averaged a shade better than 28 points per game over their last three contests, it’ll be the Seahawks defense that winds up being a massive liability.
Particularly against the run.
Entering Week 15, the Hawks rank third worst in defensive scoring and fifth worst in yards allowed. However, defending against the run is an area where head coach Pete Carroll simply doesn’t have the talent and/or depth to skew some bad stats back in a positive direction.
To date, Seattle is allowing an average of 4.9 yards per carry, which is fifth worst in the NFL. During their Week 14 home loss to the lowly Carolina Panthers, the Seahawks surrendered a whopping 223 rush yards.
Read More: 49ers can clinch NFC West by beating Seahawks on Thursday night
Over their last four games, the Hawks have allowed opponents to rush for an average of 209.5 yards per game.
Does Purdy have to even throw the ball against this kind of defense?
Perhaps not. Instead, it’ll be All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey getting a heavy workload, while rookie running back Jordan Mason is likely to continue his positive climb while fellow All-Pro Deebo Samuel nurses both knee and ankle injuries.
As long as Purdy is able to hand the ball off effectively enough, the 49ers should have little trouble pulling off a division-clinching win over Seattle on Thursday night.