The 49ers are facing one former MVP quarterback in 2023 and could potentially face two other MVP candidates, too.
Late in the 2022 season, then-rookie San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy got his first NFL start against the GOAT, now-retired Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady, the boyhood Niners fan, probably didn't envision a loss against Purdy, the final pick of that year's NFL Draft. Yet that's precisely what happened, as Purdy quite literally ran circles around the Bucs defense and outperformed Brady at all levels during the game, earning a memorable win for San Francisco in the process.
Brady was supposed to be one of the toughest quarterbacks the 49ers faced that year, but Purdy stole the show.
Now, entering the 2023 season, the Niners will face another slate of quarterbacks who offer up serious challenges in their own right.
On San Francisco's upcoming schedule, these five signal-callers figure to present the most problems.
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks (Weeks 12 and 14)
Putting 49ers fandom aside for a second, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith's story from the 2022 season was one that was pretty easy to get behind.
Essentially a castoff and forgotten commodity entering last year, Smith ultimately engineered a comeback out of nowhere and was at the helm of a Hawks offense that ultimately finished ninth in scoring despite all kinds of projections that suggested a bottom-five offense.
Nevertheless, the Niners beat Smith and his Seahawks three times, twice during the regular season and again in the Wild Card round.
That said, Smith has a reinvigorated Hawks offense surrounding him, and the fact San Francisco has to play him twice again means it'll be double the chance of him enacting some vengeance for what happened last season.