Brock Purdy proves he can lead San Francisco 49ers to Super Bowl with big win

Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

The good

Utilizing Deebo Samuel:

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel returned in Week 18 against the Arizona Cardinals, but a relatively vanilla gameplan meant that he didn’t have a big impact in his game back and his presence was somewhat minimal.

Things changed in this game however, with Deebo having a starring role. He finished with six receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown where Purdy found him in space and he was able to do the rest along with some blocking.

Part of what has made Purdy so excellent is his ability to use every weapon at his disposal, with a new focal point seemingly every week. It makes Purdy and his accuracy in intermediate passes impossible to defend.

Next week we may very well write this about someone else entirely, but Purdy and Deebo were on the same page all game.

Smartly extending plays:

There were some plays where Purdy was a bit too spooked at times and was quick to abandon the play and roll out behind and to the left as he tends to do, but he did a much better job extending plays and avoiding negative results unlike his slight regression in the Arizona game.

His touchdown throws to running backs Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell were both a result of him going through progressions, avoiding pressure in the pocket and hitting strikes to his receiver. The poise from Purdy has been his biggest weapon all season and this was a prime example.

The best example however wasn’t even a reception, but the dropped touchdown from Brandon Aiyuk. Purdy rolled out to the left, found nothing there and then proceeded all the way across the field to the right hand sideline. Purdy pumped to fake a defender out the way and then threw an absolute dart to the corner of the endzone that Aiyuk just couldn’t quite reel in. It was an absolutely phenomenal throw, showing Purdy’s ability to not just play within a system but also make it up if the situation calls for it.

Poise is everything in the playoffs, and Purdy did not falter.

His intermediate throws:

It looks more and more that Purdy’s bread and butter is in the intermediate throws about 10-20 yards from the line of scrimmage, completing more than his fair share in games including this playoff.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan is a scheming genius when it comes to getting his stars in space, and  Purdy has been able to hit them up on this kind of throw exceptionally consistently. Purdy has struggled a bit on the true deep throws in recent weeks, so these have been the plays where he’s really gotten big chunks of yardage through the air.