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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Despite historic playoff game, 49ers’ Brock Purdy focusing on accountability for mistakes

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 14, 2023 at 10:20 PM--

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy had an impressive performance on Saturday, becoming the first rookie signal-caller in NFL history to account for four touchdowns in the postseason, amongst other accolades.

However, despite the historic performance, Purdy focused on taking accountability for his early mistakes following San Francisco's 41-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Purdy faced his share of struggles in the first half, completing just 9/19 passes, with the 49ers kicking three field goals in their four red zone trips.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan called several shot plays to begin the game, showing his confidence in Purdy, which initially came with mixed results as the rookie threw some errant passes.

Looking back at the first half, Purdy reminisced on a miss to Deebo Samuel running an intermediate crosser, acknowledging the weather conditions at the time.

"Honestly, the ball was a little wet. It was raining at the time and it just got away from me. But yeah, it wasn't anything in terms of the game. It was just the ball was wet, slipped. I was trying to rip it to Deebo and I was just mad that I couldn't get it to him."

Purdy grew from the mistake, as he completed the same pass early in the second half when the 49ers got rolling offensively.

But, the growth came even on back-to-back plays, as Purdy completed a pass to Brandon Aiyuk following his miss to Samuel, creating some momentum for the offense.

"Yeah, I mean, it's very important [to get into a rhythm]. Obviously had missed one right before that. So, to get the ball to B.A., have him make a play and just create some momentum, it was huge for us, huge for myself. As a quarterback you want to start the game off with some completions and just get into a rhythm, so it was huge for myself. It was huge for the team."

After the game, Purdy candidly spoke about the importance of execution, especially in the playoffs, when presented with favorable matchups.

"Yeah, it's just, there's a couple plays, man, where it's like you've got to be on point. Once you get those matchups and opportunities to capitalize on, you've got to do it, especially in the NFL, playoff football. And so, I put that on myself."

The rookie quarterback took accountability for not fully capitalizing on those opportunities, acknowledging that he should've let a few more passes go, allowing his receivers to make plays.

"There's some plays where I should've put the ball up, you know, give [TE] George [Kittle] a one-on-one shot and instead of taking a sack, some plays like that where I've got to be better."

Understanding that a change was needed offensively in regards to execution, Purdy and head coach Kyle Shanahan had a conversation about taking advantage of those opportunities, which ultimately resulted in a 25-point second half.

"Coming into halftime, you know, [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] just was straight up like, 'hey man, plays are there, the opportunities are there. We've just got to keep it simple and get it to the guys,'" Purdy said. "And so, we knew what our plan was coming out of halftime into the second half and I thought we just executed everything and we finished drives where we didn't do the stalling. We didn't overthink things in the second half."

Purdy's most impressive play of the game came on an off-schedule throw where he initially scrambled to his left, and then all the way across the field to his right before firing a dart to the back corner or the end zone, which Brandon Aiyuk couldn't haul in.

Despite the incredible throw, Purdy took accountability following the game, understanding that he should normally play smarter with the ball and take the points, but also shared his perspective on why he made the play.

"Obviously in that kind of situation, I've got to be smarter with getting the ball out if the first read isn't there instead of doing all that extra stuff," Purdy said. "But yeah, I felt like it was one of those situations where, man, if we can just put one more touchdown in, put the nail in the coffin. But at the same time, a field goal is just as good. So, something I've got to be smart with and just throw it away if it's not there."

Purdy finished his day with 348 total yards and four touchdowns while committing zero turnovers, which was arguably the most important aspect of his stat line.

Now, Purdy will face either the Minnesota Vikings or the winner of the Dallas Cowboys-Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup in his second career playoff game next weekend at Levi's Stadium.
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