New year, new jock blog? You wish. Turning a calendar didn’t make your loyal correspondent any smarter, so let’s dive right in to 2023’s most outrageous question:
Can the 49ers win the Super Bowl with Brock Purdy at quarterback?
First off, I do believe that this is the first time in recorded Jock Blog history that the words “Brock” and “Purdy” were typed consecutively. Brock who?
Brock Gosh Darn Purdy, that’s who.
This Brock Purdy thing can be described by the following starter set: outrageous, exhilarating, confounding, astonishing, sensational.
I have to go to my Don King book of adjectives to keep going. Steve Young came on KNBR to say Purdy has “The Force”. When the Youngster is going all Yoda on us, we know we’re in a galaxy far, far away.
Setting aside the whole crazy narrative part of the Purdy story, the football part seems pretty straightforward.
Purdy throws an accurate ball, rocking a 67.3% completion percentage since the moment Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot in the first quarter of the Miami Dolphins game on Dec. 4. That number would tie Purdy with Jalen Hurts of Philadelphia at 6th in the NFL, were it a full-season stat.
Purdy moves nicely in the pocket. He’s taken just four sacks in his four games as a starter and shown us deft footwork to peel away from pass rushers, while still keeping his eyes downfield. It’s almost like he’s done this before. Oh, wait — the guy threw 1,461 pass attempts as an Iowa State Cyclone from 2018-2021. That’s a lot of drop backs with which to polish one’s craft.
Purdy will quarterback unafraid. Jogging on to the turf at Levi’s against the Dolphins as Jimmy G limped off, Purdy inherited a Super Bowl contending team in December, in a game against a smoking hot Miami team packed with weapons, and a full house in Santa Clara thinking the entire season had just immolated.
How’d that work out?
Purdy is 4-0 as a starter in his first four games, which has basically never happened before in 49ers history. He’s 5-0, if you count the Dolphins game, but he didn’t start that game. Picky, picky, picky.
So the football part is legit. He loves throwing to George Kittle (five of his 10 TDs to No. 85). And he’s got moxie for days — John Lynch told us this morning on the show that when Purdy missed an open man for a TD in Las Vegas and instead threw a tight-window TD to Kittle, he mollified a stern Kyle Shanahan by giving the international sign for “I’ve got ice water in my veins”, tapping the underside of his forearm. Even Kyle had to chuckle at the audacity, Lynch said.
The narrative part of Purdy makes everything richer.
Even though he is Iowa State’s best QB ever, and even though he ranks highly among record-holding QBs in the Big 12 annals — up there with names like Baker Mayfield, Robert Griffin III, Patrick Mahomes and Colt McCoy — the fact that he was drafted with the last pick of the last round changed his whole story. “Mr. Irrelevant” beating Tom Brady in his first career start was the sort of stuff that “Good Morning America” ate up. It was like Purdy was some street urchin plucked from the crowd to QB the San Francisco 49ers.
America was perplexed and wildly entertained: Just who was Brock Purdy???
If you’ve seen “The Fabelmans”, you know young Steven Spielberg learned from director John Ford in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”: “When the legend becomes fact . . . print the legend.”
Back to our original question to open 2023’s barroom Jock Blog arguments: Can the 49ers win the Super Bowl with Brock Purdy at QB?
You’ve seen his accuracy. You’ve seen his poise. You’ve seen his escapability. Heck, let’s say it out loud: You’ve seen him make certain pocket moves and completions that Jimmy G, bless his soul, probably couldn’t make.
Who am I to spoil the 2023 party? Heck yeah, they can win the Super Bowl with Brock Purdy.
The really fun part will be seeing if he will.
Happy New Year, 49ers fans.