49ers Film Review: The Good and Not So Good of Brock Purdy against Miami

The Brock Purdy era has begun in San Francisco.

Taking the field after Jimmy Garoppolo was lost once again to injury, Purdy stepped in and guided the 49ers offense to 23 points.

As should be expected from a rookie quarter back there was some good and not so good.

The Not So Good

First quarter, First and ten, Dolphins 28

Purdy has Deebo Samuel open in the right flat off play action. Moving to his right Purdy throws the ball well over the head of Samuel out of bounds.

First quarter, Third and ten, Dolphins 28

Facing third down Kyle Shanahan dials up a play for Jauan Jennings. Purdy rolls to his right and Jennings is open, but he doesn’t pull the trigger. Instead, the rookie quarterback pulls up and throws back across the middle to Brandon Aiyuk. The 49ers catch a break when the Dolphins get called for pass interference. Shanahan will come back to this play later.

Second quarter, Second and ten, 49ers 35

Purdy drops back and has Brandon Aiyuk open on an out to the right side. Instead of an easy completion Purdy throws the ball over Aiyuk’s head like what he did to Samuel earlier.

There is some pressure around Purdy on this play, however this is a throw that needs to be made.

Second quarter, Second and goal, Dolphins 3

As they often do, the Niners are in 11-personnel in the redzone.

Purdy has Christian McCaffrey open on a choice route to the left side but is late with the throw resulting in the pass being behind McCaffrey and falling incomplete. The ball should be coming out of Purdy’s hand before McCaffrey clears the linebacker.

The Good

Second quarter, Third and ten, 49ers 35

With the 49ers facing third and long Miami sends a blitz. Purdy sees it coming, stares it down, and rips a throw over the middle to George Kittle for a gain of 19. This was a big time play from the rookie and kept San Francisco moving the ball late in the first half.

Second quarter, Second and ten, Dolphins 46

This is a good example of Purdy getting comfortable with the pace of the game.

Kyle Shanahan comes back to the same play he called earlier for Jauan Jennings. Purdy rolls to the right and this time he puts the ball on Jennings. The wide receiver makes the first defender miss and goes for a gain of 19.

Second quarter, Third and goal, Dolphins 3

After seeing Purdy throw late to Christian McCaffrey the play before Kyle Shanahan helps his quarterback out. Instead of asking Purdy to hit a moving target, Shanahan has McCaffrey sit in the hole on the left side. The quarterback sees it quickly and hits the running back for the go-ahead touchdown.

Third quarter, Third and five, 49ers 30  

Another example of Purdy getting comfortable with the flow of the game.

Here he reads the left side and sees he will have the in route open. He rips the throw to Jennings with anticipation. Getting the ball out on time allows Purdy to hit Jennings in the hole and in front of the safety for a gain of 15.

Fourth quarter, third and one, 49ers 45

With the game still in doubt late in the fourth quarter Shanahan puts the game in the rookies’ hands.

Purdy fakes the handoff and Miami bites on the play fake. The quarterback rolls out to his right and has his choice between Tyler Kroft deep or George Kittle short. Instead of taking the deep throw, Purdy dumps it off to Kittle for a gain of three and the first down.

A few plays later Robbie Gould would hit a field goal to put the game out of reach.


This article has 21 Comments

  1. Sunday’s shaping up to be such an interesting match-up, with the goat vs the kid. Can Purdy pull it off somehow? Am conflcted after watching the tape and reading Jack’s commentary.

    1. The real question will be if KS will burn up this back up as fast as he did with Trey.
      Will KS play it safe and give the ‘kid’ time to get his feet down or is he going to test his abilities like he did with Trey.
      The vast football experience showed right away with BP. Not necessarily this game, but after a few games we will know if he is ‘Mr Irrelevant’ or the guy with the hot hand!

  2. It’s way too soon to really pass judgement, but honestly, Brock looked 1,000x more confident and prepared than Trey ever did. Brock looked like he’d been there before, it was just another day in the office. Trey looks and plays like a nervous squirrel. I don’t understand why everyone is so high on him. If just having athleticism was enough, we could have kept Kaep. I anticipate that Brock is going to end being like a Tim Rattay, if you guys remember him. That’s what it feels like right now, but again, it’s way too soon to speculate. It wouldn’t be such a bad outcome either.

    1. Tim Rattay was a solid back up to J. Garcia. Does that mean B. Purdy will be a solid back up? To who?

    2. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that Purdy was a 4 year starter at Iowa State….while Lance played less than half that at North Dakota…

      1. Shemp is right about Trey. He came into camp unready again. He is just not accurate with his passes and largely unimpressive with his runs. Terrible first-round choice.
        Purdy may be Rattay but there is a chance he could develop quickly. Kyle kept him at a huge cost to the team and saw something in him. Luck would be a real catch in the off-season. Aaron always wanted to play here and should have. Does he have another year in his aging arm?

  3. We’re rolling with Purdy. It’ll be interesting to see how he improves, if he does. Also interesting will be to see if jimmy gets a chance to come back in the playoffs. Go Niners.

  4. For a rookie with very few practice reps, much less game action, Purdy was impressive against the Dolphins. Just getting in and out of the huddle on time takes a little practice. He did well with that part. On the good side, Purdy is a gamer. He seems to have some football intelligence to him. Not taking the sack on that 4th down and giving his receiver a chance was a savvy move even if it didn’t work out. He also stood in the pocket and took a shot to the chops to complete a pass. Impressed with his toughness. Also, Dolphins had that QB sneak stopped but Purdy must have some purty strong legs because he pushed thru for the first down. On the down side, Purdy lacks arm strength. Every one of his passes floats. Sometimes his footwork is atrocious. On that overthrow to Aiyuk, Purdy lined his feet up for a throw down the middle. He never moved his feet at all to realign the throw to the outside. That footwork and lack of armstrength is going to cause him to miss throws. It’s going to happen probably several times per game so get ready for a little frustration.

  5. Brock Purdy is the 8th QB to have their first career start against Tom Brady – the first seven lost.

  6. What happens next will be enlightening on two counts. First, having seen Purdy in action opposing defensive coordinators will develop schemes to defeat him. Second, with some time to work it out Shanahan will create plays that fit Purdy’s unique abilities. So the fencing will go on, and we will all learn a lot as we watch it.

  7. Thanks for the vids, Jack.
    What stood out for me was Purdy’s poise and the sense of calm confidence at a time when the game was still wide-opened.

    Yes, he failed to see some open receivers that could have gone for substantial yards. But, we’ve seen this with Jimmy throughout his career.
    Purdy was not awed by the moment, we’ll see if he can follow it up this Sunday.

    Shanahan and Lynch get high marks for scheming offensive plays and constructing a defense that allows the team to continue to have success.

  8. Jack,
    The Dolphins blitzed more than iv’e seen in a long time. Did you notice in your film work whether KS had hot routes ready for the blitzes? If he did, did Purdy make the right reads?

  9. The Purdy story is all over the media. I hope he wins Sunday. I spotted Purdy’s talent in camp and pre-season! I loved his interview. First-class family and person. Overachiever.

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