SANTA CLARA – Things are going so well for Brock Purdy right now that even his bad throws are producing positive results.
Purdy threw a deep ball in the second quarter of the 49ers’ 35-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday that would have instantly angered anyone rooting for the home team.
Brandon Aiyuk was in the middle of double coverage about 40 yards downfield. If there were a hole there to fit a ball, it would require binoculars to find it. But that didn’t stop Purdy from launching a ball, a ball that could be underthrown, but a ball that Purdy described as an “opportunity ball”.
Aiyuk saw it just in time, darted past two defenders and took advantage of the opportunity to make a fingertip catch that put the 49ers in scoring position.
“I was trying to get it to the right but there was a corner at the back that came into the picture,” Purdy said. Aiyuk “did a great job making adjustments and making great plays.”
It was one of 21 passes thrown by Purdy that day. He completed 20 of them, missing only one pass on a throwaway during a third-and-long when he was under pressure.
“They told me I had an incompletion at the end of the game,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God.'”
He started the game 13 of 13 and extended his streak of consecutive completions to 21. This tops Steve Young’s streak of 20 completions in 1996 and trails Joe Montana’s mark of 22 consecutive completions from 1987, when Montana set one. New NFL record, breaking Ken Anderson’s 20 consecutive points since 1983.
This record has since been broken several times and has currently been completed 25 times in a row. There are four quarterbacks who share it: Ryan Tannehill (2015), Marcus Mariota (2018), Philip Rivers (2018) and Nick Foles (2018).
Despite breaking his streak late in games, Purdy’s overall efficiency this season has left him with a 72% completion rate which ranks third in the NFL behind only Josh Allen (74%) and Lamar Jackson (73%). Is.
According to his colleagues, this is no accident.
“I think he’s been studying his butt off in the offseason, he actually knows more offensively than he did last season,” 49ers center Jake Brandel said. “His listening ability, his checking, his efficiency at the line of scrimmage and in the huddle have all improved significantly. He is getting better every week.”
Purdy, who is just 23 years old and under a team-friendly contract that will see him paid just under $4 million in combined salary from 2022 to 2026, has thrown one interception through four games so far this season. remains. Including the postseason, he has not thrown a pick in seven consecutive games with over 200 passing attempts.
Like Tom Brady early in his career, Purdy is having a lot of success thanks to his accuracy and timing. He often hits receivers before they even look at him.
“I think everybody in our offense gets the ball in their hands once they get it and they do some crazy things with it,” he said. “We trust everybody.”
And they have good reason to trust him; Purdy is now 9-0 on his regular season and has a chance to start his career 10-0 with a big game next Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
“You can go down this list of what makes a quarterback good and he checks every box,” said running back Christian McCaffrey, who scored four of the team’s five touchdowns. “And then he has all the intangibles. That is why it is unprecedented. Then he brings that swagger and energy every day that makes him fun to be around. He is quiet but very confident. He expresses it in the way he plays.”
Head coach Kyle Shanahan called Purdy “almost perfect” on Sunday. He said that because the Cardinals’ defense was not giving him many big throws, Purdy had to slowly isolate him.
When the field opened up later in the game, he hit Aiyuk on some deep balls.
“He does what Kyle tells him to do,” offensive lineman Colton McKivitz said. “He puts it in the hands of our people. He has weapons everywhere. He’s been able to get it done and go from 20 to 21, that’s all you can ask a guy to do.
“He is capable of running away when needed. He is a bowler. You see the excitement when he makes plays. That guy, and who he is in the locker room, we’re lucky to have him.”