49ers Film Review: Brock Purdy’s record-breaking performance

Brock Purdy has been the story over the last six weeks of the 49ers season. Since stepping in when Jimmy Garoppolo went down with an injury the rookie has put up numbers that rival those of Joe Montana and Steve Young.

In the season finale against Arizona, Purdy completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 178 yards, and three touchdowns. Purdy became the only quarterback since 1950 to win his first five NFL starts and throw two or more touchdown passes in each game. His three touchdowns also gave him 13 for the season, a franchise record for a rookie.

Here is every drop back for Purdy against the Cardinals.

Kyle Shanahan uses his personnel to create an open throw for Purdy. Kyle Juszczyk lines up as a win on the left. Deebo Samuel motions from out wide into the backfield and Christian McCaffrey motions to become a wing on the right.

At the snap, Samuel and McCaffrey run outs drawing Cardinals defenders with them. This leaves no defender in the middle of the field and Purdy hits an uncovered Juszczyk for a gain of 26.

Purdy works to his left. Brandon Aiyuk is well covered on the deep out. Christian McCaffrey is open for the checkdown, but Purdy takes off around the left side and picks up 13 on the scramble.

San Francisco has found a lot of success with this “four strong” concept since Purdy took over.

This one is a little different than what we have seen previously. Instead of having the single receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, run a slant this time they have him run a short hitch.

Purdy likes the matchup, hits his third step and delivers a strike to Aiyuk for a gain of six.

Facing third and three Kyle Shanahan dials up a screen to the right side.

Pre-snap motion by Deebo Samuel moves one Cardinals defender across the field. Brandon Aiyuk takes out two more as the corner runs with him and the receiver’s route is a natural pick of the inside defender.

With three Cardinals defenders out of the picture Christian McCaffrey is 19 yards downfield before having to run through a tackle for the 21-yard touchdown.

J.J. Watt beats Spencer Burford inside and with Jake Brendel working to the other side the veteran defensive tackle gets to Purdy for the sack.

Facing third and fifteen, Purdy does an excellent job of using his eyes to hold the defenders while climbing the pocket. His throw is a little too far out front and Aiyuk is unable to make the diving catch.

Purdy’s throw to Deebo Samuel on a screen to the right hits the ground before reaching the receiver.

Arizona gets pressure up the middle on Purdy and the quarterback tries to escape to his left, but he is run down for a loss of 17 yards.

Purdy needs to see the pressure here and hit George Kittle who is the hot receiver to his right.

After a play fake Purdy hits Brandon Aiyuk over the middle for a gain of 11. The rookie does a nice job of fitting this in although his double pumps here making the throw a little late.

Motion from Elijah Mitchell moves the Cardinals defense leaving George Kittle alone. Purdy sees it and hits the tight end for a gain of nine.

Purdy works to his right. Deebo Samuel is covered, leading him to Jauan Jennigs. When he starts to throw the defensive end is in the throwing lane, he gathers and throws side arm to Jennings to get it around the rusher. The pass is slightly off the mark and Jennings is unable to bring it in.

Facing third and 18, Purdy works to his left. As he starts to throw to George Kittle, he notices the corner is in position to make a play on the ball. Purdy brings the ball down and escapes to his left. He tries to fit a pass in to the tight end along the sideline, but it falls incomplete.

San Francisco runs double slants to the right. Seeing both covered, Purdy hits Christian McCaffrey on the checkdown. McCaffrey shows off his quickness and turns it into a gain of six.

Kyle Shanahan dials up a shot play off play action. Danny Gray runs a deep corner post taking the safety with him. After executing his play fake, Purdy sees the middle open and hits Brandon Aiyuk for a gain of 22.

The 49ers run double quick slants to the right side. The outside linebacker drops, taking away the inside slant to Samuel so Purdy fires to Jennings on the outside slant for a gain of 11.

On third and six Purdy keeps his eyes down the middle before hitting McCaffrey on a comeback along the left sideline for a gain of six and a first down.

Purdy hits Deebo Samuel on a screen to the right and the receiver takes it for a gain of nine.

On second and goal from the four Purdy steps up into the pocket and delivers a strike to George Kittle in the back left corner of the endzone. The tight end is able to get both feet down for a touchdown.

Opening play of the second half. Purdy fakes a handoff, plants his back foot, and rifles a pass over the middle to Brandon Aiyuk for a gain of 20. With this reception Aiyuk goes over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.

J.J. Watt beats the double team from Burford and Mike McGlinchey for the final sack of his career. It appears that McGlinchey was expecting help to his inside and Burford left him alone by looking inside.

Purdy bootlegs out to his left. Jennings is covered deep so he checks the ball underneath to Kittle and the ball bounces off the hands of the tight end for an incompletion.

Purdy throws a screen out to his right to Elijah Mitchell. Mitchell catches the backwards pass, turns the corner, and runs for a gain of 37. He would score from six yards out on the next play.

San Francisco runs a flood concept to the left side. It looks like McCaffrey is open on the deep out, but Purdy does a good job of seeing the underneath coverage lurking and checks it down to Samuel in the flat. The wide back makes a defender miss and runs for a gain of 11.

Purdy runs a designed roll out to the left, finds nobody open and picks up two yards before being run out of bounds.

Purdy can’t find anyone open, steps into the pocket and is sacked by Cameron Thomas. Spencer Burford did a good job on Thomas early, but as Purdy held on to the ball the Thomas was able to get free with a spin move and the quarterback moved right into him.

Daniel Brunskill doesn’t see the delayed linebacker blitz. With the free runner in his face Purdy layers the throw to Kittle over a pair of defenders for a gain of 15. Terrific poise once again by the rookie quarterback. He appears unfazed by pressure.

On third and goal from the one Purdy rolls to his right after a play fake and hits George Kittle. This is Purdy’s third touchdown pass of the game, a career high.

This article has 6 Comments

  1. Love this breakdown– it’s just impossible to watch these downs and feel this is a fluke. Particularly all the Kittle throws. This kid just has “it”.

  2. A lot has been made about the offense opening up possibly due to Shanahan trusting Purdy more so than the previous QBs. But I also wonder if it has to do with Shanahan trusting Aiyuk more than in games and seasons past? Aiyuk was starting to become the primary receiving threat once Garoppolo started to get into a groove too and I think the play calling opened up a bit more too (and by this I mean more often leading with the pass at times). Garoppolo’s command of the opened up offense wasn’t as explosive as Purdy’s but Aiyuk’s expanding role was a constant under both QBs IMO. The last time the offense was this opened up (at times) was during the middle of the 2019 season when the 49er’s acquired veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

    1. I agree. There’s no question in my mind that Purdy is doing a great job, but we have to recognize that he is also surrounded by many great players and is led by great offensive mind. Still all accolades to Purdy, especially being a Rookie. Many people on this blog are all in on Him which is great, but I’d like to remind them that we have another quarterback who was picked #3 and who we gave up 3 #1 picks for. The future is not decided.

  3. I am withholding my final opinion until I can see what he does in the playoffs. If he plays well and wins or at least gets us to the SB he will have my blessing. If he struggles in the playoffs then I look forward to an open competition between he and Lance. This off season will be the most difficult off season cap wise since after the 94 SB. Whether they keep Lance or trade him they have some very difficult decisions to make. I hope they can make some trades to pick up 1st and 2nd round draft picks. Draft picks are the cheapest way to rebuild or stay on top. There are no magic elixirs for salary cap problems, they will need to make some painful trades or cuts.

  4. Purdy has been playing great! But his records should have some sort of asterisk like “wind aided” in track. He is on a superb and well stocked team and should be doing well, which he is.

Comments are closed.