The questions lingered effectively into August.
Except for the quarterback place, that’s.
Whereas Brock Purdy’s unimaginable run from Mr. Irrelevant to being the beginning quarterback in that recreation was the stuff of a Disney screenplay, the UCL damage he suffered that afternoon towards the Philadelphia Eagles loomed massive this offseason. Would he be prepared for Week 1? Would he recapture that magic from a 12 months in the past? Would it not even matter if he did, given the expertise across the quarterback in San Francisco?
After Week 1’s dismantling of the Pittsburgh Steelers, think about these questions answered, and extra.
Purdy accomplished 19-of-29 passes for 220 yards and a pair of touchdowns because the 49ers rolled to a 30-7 win in Pittsburgh. Whereas the Steelers had develop into a scorching decide because of a spectacular run within the preseason, it was Purdy and the visiting 49ers who appeared each bit the a part of contenders on Sunday.
For the quarterback himself, it appeared he had a bit of further to start out his 2023 marketing campaign.
Whereas many seen the San Francisco offense as being “QB agnostic,” given the expertise across the quarterback and the ideas dialed up by Kyle Shanahan, Purdy added some creativity and athleticism of his personal on Sunday. Bringing these traits to bear on this offense?
That may very well be downright lethal for the remainder of the league.
Take this primary instance, a third-down conversion early within the second quarter. The 49ers align in an empty formation, and simply as Purdy hits his drop depth within the pocket he sees a flash of coloration on the inside. That comes from defensive deal with Larry Ogunjobi. Upon seeing that flash, Purdy steps across the inside strain, however he can’t drift too far-off, as move rusher T.J. Watt is bearing down on him from the appropriate edge.
In a flash, Purdy adjustments course and climbs the pocket:
Purdy begins in direction of the road of scrimmage on a near-sprint, all whereas conserving his eyes downfield. That enables him to search out broad receiver Brandon Aiyuk breaking open late on a crossing route, and Purdy hits him in stride to maneuver the chains.
For his half Aiyuk had a large recreation, catching eight passes for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and he additionally had a crucial block downfield on an extended landing run from Christian McCaffrey.
Take this third-down conversion from the third quarter, the place Purdy once more finds Aiyuk late on a crossing route:
Once more it’s Ogunjobi who applies the preliminary strain, slicing by the road to maneuver Purdy off the spot. The quarterback sees that risk, and easily slides away from the defensive deal with, understanding he simply wants an additional little bit of time to get off this throw. He hits Aiyuk in stride, and the 49ers have a contemporary set of downs.
Generally pocket motion is extra in regards to the delicate, than the dynamic. Positive, Purdy might have pulled the ball down and rolled out extra on this play, however he doesn’t have to. He merely must create as a lot house as he can from Ogunjobi, which he does together with his delicate slide and footwork, earlier than discovering Aiyuk to maneuver the chains.
An excellent instance of Purdy’s creativity comes from late within the first quarter. On this instance you’ll see Shanahan do his finest to outflank the Steelers protection, however Pittsburgh has one thing of their very own up their sleeves.
However Purdy was in a position to reply underneath strain.
The 49ers try to get the Pittsburgh protection flowing to their proper by aligning Deebo Samuel within the slot on the appropriate, and sending him in orbit movement into the backfield in direction of the left aspect of the offense. Because the play begins, each Samuel and fullback Kyle Juszczyk run swing routes to that aspect of the formation.
However the actual goal is Aiyuk. When Samuel goes in movement that leaves Aiyuk alongside on the appropriate aspect of the offensive formation, and he runs a slant route. The concept is to get the protection flowing to their proper — away from Aiyuk — and create house for the slant.
Nevertheless, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has dialed up one thing that Purdy won’t anticipate: He drops move rusher T.J. Watt off the sting, and proper into that throwing lane.
Purdy needs to throw the slant, however on the final minute he sees nothing however Watt’s jersey within the throwing lane. He neatly pulls the ball down however with Cameron Heyward bearing down on him, he doesn’t have a lot time.
However he has sufficient:
Purdy not solely makes the preliminary “no-throw choice” by pulling the ball down and avoiding an interception thrown on to Watt, however he will get his eyes again to the left, selecting up McCaffrey on a fast slant route. The play goes for only a seven-yard achieve, however on a snap the place the protection had every little thing in place to generate an enormous play, Purdy is ready to create a tiny little bit of magic.
The second-year quarterback even made some performs together with his legs, selecting up 4 yards on a scramble within the second quarter to maintain the offense on schedule, after which ripping off this 17-yard achieve on a 3rd down late within the recreation to assist San Francisco salt away the win:
However the play that stood out probably the most from Purdy on Sunday, and exhibits his personal potential to create within the San Francisco offense, is a completion to Samuel to maneuver the chains within the second quarter. Let’s begin with the pre-snap look:
Check out the left aspect of the offense. Samuel is the one receiver on the left, utilizing a good cut up. Lurking throughout the road of scrimmage is do-it-all defender Minkah Fitzpatrick, who’s aligned inside Samuel. With one other defensive again aligned throughout from Samuel, Purdy might be considering a blitz is coming.
Which it does, as Fitzpatrick screams in off the sting.
Safety clever, the 49ers run twin half-man slides, because the left deal with and left guard fan to that aspect, whereas the middle joins the appropriate deal with and proper guard in fanning to the appropriate.
However with each Alex Highsmith and Isaiahh Loudermilk speeding on the left aspect of the offense, they occupy left deal with Trent Williams, and left guard Aaron Banks. That offers Fitzpatrick a free run at Purdy. But, as a result of Purdy was anticipating that risk, he is ready to spin away from the free runner, and discover Samuel in house to maneuver the chains:
One other instance of a proficient protection creating a possibility for an enormous play, however Purdy being one step forward of them.
The 49ers entered Week 1 with one of the vital proficient rosters within the NFL, however nonetheless dealing with questions in regards to the quarterback place.
However the Brock Purdy we noticed on Sunday answered these questions, and extra.
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