The San Francisco 49ers started last season with a two-man race for the starting quarterback job between Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Lance ultimately won the job but went down with an injury in Week 2. Garoppolo took back over and did a good job managing the team before he got hurt in Week 13.
Down to their third quarterback, Brock Purdy took over and shocked the world as Mr. Irrelevant. The 49ers didn’t lose the rest of the season and made it to the NFC Championship, only losing to the Philadelphia Eagles due to Purdy tearing his UCL early in the game.
Like last season, the 49ers had a decision to make at quarterback involving Trey Lance. Purdy was coming off surgery, and San Francisco signed Sam Darnold, so the starting job was up in the air.
Purdy progressed faster than expected, and the 49ers made it clear he would be the starter by trading Lance to the Dallas Cowboys. With Purdy at the helm, he will not only take the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl but hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Last season, Purdy completed 67.1% of his passes for 1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns, and four interceptions in nine regular season games. In the playoffs, he went 41-for-63 for 569 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions, along with a rushing touchdown.
In 2023, Purdy has picked up right where he left off last season. The 49ers are one of two teams this season that are undefeated. Purdy has thrown for 1,019 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions while completing 72.3% of his passes.
Purdy also leads the NFL in quarterback rating (115.1) and QBR (84.6).
What’s helped Purdy have so much success early on in his career is the loaded offense the 49ers have put together. San Francisco has two of the best players at their respective positions: Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle. He’s also throwing the ball to Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Along with all the weapons, the 49ers have one of the best offensive lines in the league.
This season, Purdy definitely has more confidence in his game. He’s stepping up in the pocket more and making some big-time throws. He’s also making some risky plays that are ultimately paying off. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has put Purdy in the right system to succeed.
The last time the 49ers were in the Super Bowl, Garoppolo was the starter, and he can ultimately be categorized as a game manager. And while Purdy might have seemed like a similar quarterback last season, he doesn’t look like that all this year.