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49ers QB Brock Purdy takes responsibility for overthrows: “I’ve got to be better”

Sep 17, 2023 at 6:11 PM--

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Even though Brock Purdy's numbers were far from awful during the 49ers' win over the Rams on Sunday, it's easy to think of what could have been had he connected on a few missed opportunities to put more points on the board.

Purdy finished 17-of-25 for 206 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a rushing touchdown in the 30-23 win at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The touchdown number in that stat line could have been much better had Purdy connected on three passes in particular to open receivers that wound up being overthrown.

The first came in the second quarter a deep ball intended for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, then two more came later in the game on a pass over the middle towards the end zone intended for wide receiver Deebo Samuel and a third down pass intended for wide receiver Jauan Jennings. The passes were part of an imperfect performance for Purdy, who did a number of good things during the game but was off target more times than he wanted to be.

"Yeah, in my eyes, there's a couple opportunities obviously out there that I missed in terms of the deep ball and whatnot," Purdy said during his postgame media session. "But (we) found a way to win."

Purdy didn't blame anything or anyone but himself for the overthrows, saying he just simply needed to do a better job of being on target.

"I just overthrew them -- the one to BA, the one to Deebo, and then JJ on that third down," Purdy said. "Those are on me. I've got to be better. I've got to hit them in stride and not overthrow them. Simple as that."

Sunday was Purdy's second start after undergoing elbow surgery that wiped out his entire offseason, so there will be naturally be questions about whether or not he's still trying to figure out where his arm strength is on deep throws. But he suggested after the game that things have been fine at practice and it's just a matter of putting the right touch on the ball on gamedays.

"We fit those deep balls and whatnot at practice and everything," Purdy said. "It just comes down when the bullets are flying, being able to make an accurate throw and not overthrow them. Don't underthrow them, but just be on point. And so that's what you got to do as an NFL quarterback, and I take that on myself."

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan gave quick assessments of each of those three passes after the game, saying he didn't have as much of a problem with the pass to Jennings as the other two.

"I thought they were all tough ones," Shanahan said. "I think the Aiyuk one was probably his toughest one because it was just his number one read and it just sailed a little bit. The one with Deebo, he went all the way across the board in a really tough read and yeah, you'd love him to hit it, but he did miss it. And the one to Jennings, that one didn't bother me much. We were a little surprised the ball was going there, and everyone else was covered and he just tried to make a play."

Despite those misses, Shanahan came away pleased with the fact Purdy didn't make any mistakes that were much bigger. Purdy and the 49ers posted a zero in the turnover category, which made a big difference in the outcome of the game considering the 49ers' defense was able to come up with two clutch takeaways down the stretch.

"The main thing he did today was protect the ball," Shanahan said. "Besides those three misses, which none of them were easy, but he took care of the football, didn't give them a chance to touch it. And when he was under duress, he was smart."

Purdy may dwell on his missed deep balls for a little while, but he drew the same conclusion as Shanahan when it came to turnovers. Ball security helped the 49ers get what could turn out to be a significant win, which is certainly the most important thing.

"It's a divisional game. There's a lot on the line for both teams," Purdy said. "You want to win. It can be a four quarter game. And really, obviously today it came down to not turning the ball over. We knew that going into it, and for myself, it's like, 'Man, I got to make plays for my team at the same time, protect the ball more than anything, let our defense play and at the end see what happens, where we've got to be in the fourth quarter.' But that was the name of the game today."

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