These stats completely puncture the Brock Purdy 'checkdown' narrative

Brock Purdy is much more than a "checkdown" quarterback, and these statistics back that up.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is no stranger to people doubting him.

One popular narrative about Purdy is that he is a "checkdown" quarterback, meaning he does not throw the ball downfield and simply throws it to his playmakers on short passes.

These statistics completely puncture that narrative.

Debunking the Brock Purdy 'checkdown' narrative using stats

These statistics come courtesy of Coach Yac on X, and they really demonstrate that Purdy is not afraid to air the ball out:

On balls thrown 20-plus yards down the field last season, Purdy was 30-of-53 for nearly 1,000 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only a single interception.

Those are very impressive stats for a guy who supposedly does not have a very strong arm and only relies on his skill players to get big gains.

Of course, narratives have a tendency to stick even if stats and evidence suggest otherwise. Perhaps next season, Purdy can truly demonstrate his ability to air the ball out downfield.

He may be assisted in that effort by two players whom the Niners drafted back in April: wide receivers Jacob Cowing and Ricky Pearsall. Cowing could especially assist with the deep ball given his electric speed. Some analysts are already talking about him as a major steal in the fourth round.

Pearsall should assist the Niners' downfield as well. He may not possess Cowing's speed, but the former rarely drops balls, which is why Purdy should certainly trust airing it out to him downfield.

Oh, and of course, Purdy will in all likelihood still be throwing to both star wideouts Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk this upcoming season. Plus, tight end George Kittle has been known to get open down the field as well.

The deep ball has never been a huge part of Kyle Shanahan's offense with the 49ers. But with the statistics showing Purdy's prowess throwing the ball down the field and with Shanahan having more offensive weapons than ever before, perhaps the deep ball will become a bigger part of the team's offense.

If it does and if the Niners are successful with it, perhaps Purdy will finally shed that lazy and inaccurate checkdown narrative.

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