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Chris Simms: 49ers would be Super Bowl champions with this QB switcheroo

Jun 13, 2024 at 1:40 PM

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Chris Simms of NBC Sports entered the world of hypotheticals this week, asserting that the San Francisco 49ers would have likely emerged as Super Bowl LVIII champions with one video game-like change at quarterback. Making his case for Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers as the better quarterback, Simms declared that the 49ers would win the Lombardi Trophy in February with Love at the helm of head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense instead of Brock Purdy.

"If Jordan Love played in the Super Bowl, the 49ers would be the Super Bowl champions," Simms said on the "Chris Simms Unbuttoned" podcast, per Tristi Rodriguez of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Simms recently drew criticism from fans for his placement of Purdy in the latest edition of his annual top 40 quarterback rankings. Purdy came in at No. 17 on the list, while Love ranked No. 13.

During his quarterback ranking evaluation, Simms was critical of Purdy's motion, among other traits, saying, "It's very floppy, and the arms go everywhere. And it takes him a minute to kind of get loaded up to throw the football. And that's definitely a negative about his game."

Simms explained his recent Super Bowl take: "Jordan Love, what he did at the end of the year, the last 10 weeks of the season, they took the training wheels off and he played at a phenomenally high level. And [he] really was asked to do more [than Purdy] definitely on a physical basis."

The 49ers' path to the Super Bowl involved knocking off Love and the Packers in a dramatic Divisional Round playoff clash at Levi's Stadium. San Francisco was the NFC's top seed, while the Packers were the No. 7 seed. Purdy had to help engineer a remarkable and gutsy comeback to move his team on to the NFC Championship Game.

Simms believes Purdy was outperformed in the playoff matchup.

"If you went back [to the NFC Divisional game], Jordan Love had the two interceptions at the end of the game," Simms said. "Jordan Love in that game played better than Brock Purdy. Brock Purdy should have thrown seven interceptions in that game. He got lucky that night. We'd all be talking differently if Green Bay could catch. It was not a good night.

" ... When [the 49ers' offense] is working on all cylinders, there's not a lot that Purdy does to bring the offense back up. Now, he does more than Jimmy Garoppolo used to do and it's definitely an improvement in that and all areas, but I'd still like to see some more."

Ultimately, the debate underscores the high expectations and intense scrutiny surrounding the quarterback position in San Francisco. Purdy aims to build on last year's performance, where he threw for a single-season franchise record of 4,280 passing yards. Naturally, anything short of a Super Bowl championship in the upcoming season will be seen as a disappointment.

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