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49ers QB Brock Purdy downplays his “perfect” game: ‘I don’t even really know what it means’

Nov 19, 2023 at 6:31 PM--

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Brock Purdy made history in the 49ers' 27-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, even though he may not completely understand what he did.

While throwing for 333 yards on 21-of-25 passing with three touchdowns and zero interceptions, Purdy achieved a perfect passer rating of 158.3 against the Buccaneers, becoming just the 66th player in NFL history to do so. There are now 80 total games in NFL history where a quarterback has achieved a perfect passer rating and only three in the history of the 49ers -- Purdy's game on Sunday, Steve Young against the Patriots on October 22, 1989 (11-of-12, 188 yards, three touchdowns) and Joe Montana against the Falcons on November 12, 1989 (16-of-19, 270 yards, three touchdowns).

But if one was to ask Purdy to explain the statistic he produced on Sunday, he may not be able to do so.

"I still don't even really know what it means," Purdy said Sunday. "Honestly."

That's understandable. The actual formula for calculating passer rating is a little on the complicated side, at least for most people. Nevertheless, it was an impressive feat for Purdy, despite the fact he didn't particularly think he was perfect on Sunday.

"I mean, what an honor," Purdy said. "Yeah, what an honor, but at the same time, I feel like there's still some plays and stuff that I wish I had back.

"So I'm not completely content with just that, but thought it was a great game with the guys around me, the coaching and the play calling, all of it. So that's a testament the team, really."

Purdy's perfect passer rating came as news to his teammates, but they weren't particularly surprised by what he accomplished.

"Dang, he had a perfect passer rating? That's incredible," running back Christian McCaffrey said. "He's a baller, man. He's a baller. That's a good defense, too. That doesn't shock me, but that is impressive. So I'm happy for him."

When asked about the stat, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who had five catches for 156 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, responded by saying, "Did he? I didn't know that. He was playing good."

Purdy's performance on Sunday was his second consecutive strong outing after heading into the 49ers' bye week in a bit of a slump. He threw five interceptions over the course of a three-game losing streak from Week 6 to Week 8, then after the bye week in Week 9, Purdy threw for 296 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions on 19-of-26 passing in last week's 34-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars before putting together another performance to remember on Sunday.

So the past two games have been bounce-back performances for Purdy, who has silenced plenty of critics along the way -- at least for the time being.

"I think Brock's been great because he's been consistent through it all," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Sunday. "I mean, we never felt anything different with Brock during those three losses. I think he's pretty realistic, so he doesn't get into stuff that's not that accurate."

But based on how Purdy has played the past two weeks, the 49ers might not mind if the critics continue to find things to complain about. Purdy seems to respond enthusiastically when he's doubted, so his teammates may well appreciate it if Purdy's critics keep doing their thing.

"There's always going to be critics," McCaffrey said. "He knows that. Everybody in here knows that. I like when he plays a little bit edgy with a chip on his shoulder. I kind of hope the critics keep coming because it pisses him off. He plays really well."

Sunday's performance was definitely one of the best of Purdy's career and another standout accomplishment for the young quarterback since making his debut as an NFL starter against the Buccaneers last December. But while a perfect passer rating is a fun milestone to reach, the most important thing for Purdy is the fact that the team is back on the right track after stumbling into the bye week. Purdy is indeed in the middle of an impressive bounce-back after his slump, but so are the 49ers, who with his help are once again playing at the level of a Super Bowl contender.

"(After the slump) I was more upset with, not even that we were complacent or anything, but almost like we're just going to walk into the game and it's going to be given to us in a sense," Purdy said. "I had to get back to, 'Man, we got to go take it. We got to go earn it.' Every single game, it doesn't matter who we're playing. It's the NFL. Anything can happen on any Sunday... And so sort of getting back to that and improving myself every drive, every play that I can be the guy for this team and I have to earn it every single week at practice and meetings, whatever it may be."

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