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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Evaluating 49ers QB Brock Purdy’s performance against the Cowboys

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 23, 2023 at 5:30 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs for the second consecutive year, this time by a score of 19-12 to advance to the NFC Championship Game, where they'll face off against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

The 49ers faced their share of offensive struggles, but ultimately gained enough momentum in the second half to take the lead after an early Dallas field goal, which they never gave up.

Brock Purdy faced the toughest pass rush of his short NFL career, and the Cowboys brought the heat, pressuring the rookie quarterback on 48.5% of his dropbacks, which is a career-high.

However, Purdy did see his fair share of struggles and did contribute to the high pressure rate by bailing early on the pocket, which has become a recurring theme.

In the first half, Purdy missed several big-play opportunities that head coach Kyle Shanahan had dialed up.

1. Purdy threw a deep pass late and behind wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk that resulted in a near interception while it could've been a touchdown.

2. Purdy bailed on a pocket early as it collapsed, missing an open George Kittle for a touchdown, essentially killing the play, with the drive resulting in a field goal. Purdy's first read, Christian McCaffrey, was open on the choice route, while Kittle was open on the same route that the duo connected for against the Arizona Cardinals.

3. Purdy missed Deebo Samuel wide open on a deep crosser, hesitating to throw, and then bailing left on a clean pocket.

4. Purdy missed an open Samuel on a 3rd & 2 to extend the drive, hesitating to throw initially the short pass over the middle of the field and then missing the throw wide after bailing to his left.

5. Purdy missed Samuel on a crosser, once again hesitating before trying to hit Brandon Aiyuk on a pass that was deflected by Micah Parsons.

However, there were also some nice reads from Purdy, with the best one coming on a deep crosser to Jauan Jennings during San Francisco's two-minute drill to place the 49ers in field goal range.

While there were certainly plays where the pressure affected Purdy's progressions, the rookie quarterback also contributed to the pressure rate by extending plays and not hitting the open reads when they were presented to him.

In the second half, after missing an open George Kittle over the middle of the field on San Francisco's first offensive drive, Purdy started to settle in, delivering a nice pass to his tight end on an improvised play where the rookie didn't give up and Kittle streaked up over the middle of the field, making an impressive catch after initially bobbling the throw.

While Purdy missed Kittle over the middle of the field on the following play, instead checking the ball down, and had a pass deflected for a near-interception, the rookie quarterback benefitted from the run game, which resulted in San Francisco's lone touchdown of the game.

On the ensuing drive, Purdy made two nice throws: one to Kittle and one to McCaffrey, with both converting first downs, as the drive ultimately ended in San Francisco's final score of the game.

While it was far from a perfect performance by Purdy, the rookie quarterback remained unfazed and played through the end of the game with poise, creating the necessary plays when the 49ers needed the spark.

But, there are certain areas where Purdy must improve if the 49ers are to see success against a Philadelphia Eagles team that has been dominant on both sides of the ball this season.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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  • Charles Clock
    If Jalen Hurts picks apart our defense as Patrick Mahomes and Jarrett Stidham did, we're in trouble without solid and consistent quarterback play.
    Jan 24, 2023 at 1:31 PM
  • BigAl
    Something Ive never understood about 49er fans...See Im hard on the team, I know what elite football is and I dream of seeing our 49ers historically good again. Yet, as soon as the notion that a player could be better is challenged, they go nuts. In their world everything is the coaches fault, execution is barely even a thought. In reality execution trumps all. Every play call has built in options based off the front thats expected and its up to the QB and C pre snap to make sure everybody on the LOS is accounted for. I agree, Purdy needs to be better. It can be a feel good story after the season, right now a SB is on the line. Despite all our weapons Dallas with nobody but Lamb would have beat us had Dak not thrown 2 terrible INTs. Thats a fact, these were terrible throws. So does Purdy get credit for not being bad like Dak? Frankly, no. Again, not with a sb on tap. I know Philly is ferocious and among the best teams Ive seen in awhile. But they are definitely beatable. Purdy cant bail early is number 1 offensively. He has to hit the layups...As for Ryans, he is going to have to call the game of his life. I would look for creepers and simulated pressures, anything to throw off t
    Jan 24, 2023 at 3:44 AM
  • REB
    Spot-on. Let's not gloss over the problems. He wasn't very good and should have had 2-3 INTs and now has had 5-6 bad quarters these playoffs and only 2 1/2-3 quarters of good. Garoppolo was playing with a torn thumb ligament and then the Cowboys blew-up his throwing shoulder earlier in that game last year that required serious surgery. Before that he was having a very good game, better than Purdy, so let's stop it with the overhype and hope Kyle gets him unfvked because he can't play that inconsistently against the Eagles and win.
    Jan 23, 2023 at 11:53 PM
  • ag
    pretty bad analysis - more then half of the callouts had double coverage - you will get better at understand offense once you see more film
    Jan 23, 2023 at 8:52 PM
  • Dan
    Also comes from another wanna be analyst who knows nothing about the game
    Jan 23, 2023 at 7:44 PM
  • NY9er
    This is a bit wishful in the analysys. Maybe he makes those throws or maybe he sets an interception record like Dak.
    Jan 23, 2023 at 5:59 PM


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