Brock Purdy leads the San Francisco 49ers to a 21-13 defeat over Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football.
Purdy made his first start on the road and secured another win for his flawless record as a starter. Despite playing through an oblique injury, Kyle Shanahan put all of his trust in the rookie QB, who threw for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns on the night.
We were going to see how long he'd last and we were ready to go with (backup) Josh (Johnson), but he just got comfortable and got better as the game went on. It’s pretty unbelievable.
After completing all of his first 11 attempts, Purdy finished with 17 of 26 to hit a passer rating of 117. This joins him with Aaron Rodgers as the only QBs since 1950 to have a passer rating of at least 115 in each of their first two starts...
Brock Purdy may have been Mr Irrelevant in the draft, but he's the talk of the town right now.
Jimmy Garoppolo's injury put San Francisco's hopes of a playoff run into question, but Purdy stepped up to the plate and is 2/2 in his first NFL starts. Who knows how long this streak can continue? Either way, the 49ers seem to have things handled despite a few big names on the injury list.
To help Purdy reach the end zone was George Kittle, who caught both of the rookie QBs' touchdown throws. Kittle logged 4 receptions for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns in the TNF matchup.
The 49ers star tight end seems to be performing a disappearing act for a few games, then returning for a few showstopping catches every once in a while. In Week 11's game against Arizona, Kittle had 84 yards and 2 touchdowns, yet he clocked less than 30 yards in all of his next three appearances...
Perhaps Shanahan's game plan is to lull opponents into a false sense of security - by committing Kittle to run blocks for a while - then launching him full-speed into the passing game? I mean, whatever he's doing, it's working...
San Francisco now have 7 straight wins and look set to make a deep playoff run, even with Purdy at the helm.
Helping achieve that is their new offensive superstar, Christian McCaffrey, who saw a flurry of snaps without Deebo Samuel there to split the load.
McCaffrey had 26 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown last night. Whether they overpaid or not, this guy may just save the 49ers season.
Now, I don't want to take anything away from CMC, but the San Francisco defense is really something special and it'll be a huge factor in postseason football should they come to face some of the more explosive offenses in the league.
And most of their success defending the scoreboard has been down to one man - Nick Bosa - who is an absolute monster. Bosa now leads the league in sacks with 15.5 (though Matthew Judon is just one sack behind...)
No.97 will be a huge problem for any team hoping to reach the end zone against the red and gold.
Meanwhile, Seattle drop to 7-7 as their winning season hangs in the balance.
The 49ers defense halted any hopes of success on the ground, as the Hawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker returned from injury to log just 12 attempts for 47 rushing yards. As a result, they were outrushed by 100 yards in the matchup.
San Fran also managed to lock down DK Metcalf for one of his lower-yardage games of the season. Geno Smith's number one target had 7 receptions for 55 yards in the matchup and failed to feature in the red zone as he usually does.
Instead Tyler Lockett led the passing game with 68 of Smith's 238 passing yards, but it was Noah Fant who caught the Hawks only end zone completion of the night.
In Seattle's defense, it was all set in stone as a few key plays could have turned this game either way. After all.. it was a one-score win for San Fran.
The biggest missed-opportunity came at the hands of Quandre Diggs who not only managed to miss a tackle on Kittle as he made his way to the endzone, but dropped perhaps the easiest pick he'll ever see. This could have turned the game on its head...
Absolutely BRUTAL for Purdy INT (-154) bettors on this Diggs drop 😬— Coolbet Canada 🇨🇦 (@CoolbetCanada) December 16, 2022
The Hawks will face the Chiefs, Jets and Rams for their last 3 regular-season matchups and there's really no guarantee they'll finish with a winning record. With the rise of the Detroit Lions and the state of the NFC East as a whole, they could miss their shot at postseason football if they don't bag a few more wins. I could see this going both ways...
So, the San Francisco 49ers have clinched the NFC West title, while Seattle's race for a Wild Card spot hangs in the balance
Shanahan will need his defense to hold strong if Brock Purdy is going to remain in the win column. Expect a lot more C-Mac and a lot more Kittle in the coming weeks...