Why Brock Purdy is still MVP front-runner after bad game

San Francisco 49ers Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers Brock Purdy / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

After a terrible game on Monday night, Brock Purdy statistically should still be an MVP front-runner. Let's take a look at why.

On Christmas night, the San Francisco 49ers took on the Baltimore Ravens in what was one of the most anticipated games of the season.

Many thought that whoever played better between quarterbacks Brock Purdy of the 49ers and Lamar Jackson of the Ravens, and got the win, would be elevated to clear favorite for MVP.

Jackson had the better game and it showed in the final score when his team defeated the 49ers 33-19.

Purdy, on the other hand, had one of the worst games of his young career, throwing for 255 yards with zero touchdowns and four interceptions. He would ultimately leave the game in the fourth quarter with an injury.

However, many including NFL Films Sr. Producer Greg Cosell, were quick to point out that three of his interceptions came on tipped or batted passes. Had even two of them fallen to the ground the narrative could be vastly different.

Although Purdy did get outplayed by Jackson and the Ravens on Monday, the MVP Award is given to players based on their whole season's body of work, and not just one game.

Based on that, Purdy should still be a front-runner ahead of Jackson.

Brock Purdy should still be MVP front-runner

If we start with yardage, Purdy is second in the league in passing yards with 4,050 while throwing 79 fewer passes than the Miami Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa who is in first place. Purdy also leads in yards per play with 9.7 when looking at QBs who have started every game this season.

He's also thrown 29 touchdowns this season, which puts him just one behind the Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott in first place. The most important statistic, though, in which he stands out is Purdy's 71.7 QBR in which he is in first place.

Let's look at some comparables between Purdy and Jackson, who is at the moment, the favorite to win MVP.

Jackson has thrown for 3,357 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. Both are significantly lower than Purdy's numbers, while Jackson has had 20 more passing attempts.

Jackson also had four games this season in which he threw zero touchdowns, compared to only two of those for Purdy.

Finally, Jackson's QBR for the season is 63, also lower than Purdy's.

Those stats all show that Purdy has been having a better season than Jackson. Although Jackson won the head-to-head matchup, he hasn't played better overall this season.

The biggest knock on Purdy from his critics, though, is that he has a star-studded cast around him and that his numbers are padded due to YAC.

However, if we subtract YAC and only look at completed air yards, Purdy has thrown for 2,084 yards to Jackson's 1,762 yards. Therefore, the Purdy YAC myth can be put to rest.

The season is not over yet, though. Purdy will have to put in big games against the Washington Commanders and the Los Angeles Rams in the final two games of the season if he wants to have a legitimate shot at winning MVP.

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