If BetOnline customers were wondering how Brock Purdy would do in his playoff debut, he did just fine; thank you. Purdy had almost no preparation before assuming the starting quarterback role with the San Francisco 49ers. Still, he had won every game he’s played in, taking over when Jimmy Garoppolo was injured in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins.
In the games and which Purdy has played, San Francisco has averaged 34.6 points, and the very fact that they are moving along like a locomotive is a lot to say when someone who was the last guy picked in the draft has taken the reins.
It wasn’t easy; the Seattle Seahawks did lead 17–16 at the half. But Purdy had the team on a roll in the final 30 minutes. In the end, they posted 41 points and did it with a balanced offense. The Niners threw 30 passes and ran the ball 33 times. And that’s just the way Kyle Shanahan likes it.
When Shanahan handed the starting quarterback job over to second-year man Trey Lance at the season’s outset, no one could have ever predicted that the player who would take them to the Super Bowl was a rookie drafted after everybody else. But that’s the kind of season it’s been.
Last week the Dallas defense held Tom Brady to justify 5.3 yards per attempt, so they won’t be an easy nut to crack as the Niners try to move forward.
In the NFL playoff betting odds posted on this game (6:30 PM ET start) by the folks at BetOnline, the home-standing 49ers are the favorites:
San Francisco 49ers -4
Dallas Cowboys +4
Over 46.5 points -110
Under 46.5 points -110
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People who have observed Purdy have mentioned that he functions as a facilitator, allowing the weapons around him to do most of the work. That might be underestimating him just a bit. We will admit that San Francisco does give him a lot of help. They’ve got a pair of top-flight wide receivers in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, along with tight end George Kittle, dual-purpose running back Christian McCaffrey, and Elijah Mitchell, who caught a touchdown pass last week, who gives his team more flexibility since he’s come back from an injury.
What you really have to cite here is some great coaching. There aren’t many teams who have gotten this far using three different starting quarterbacks. And again, we emphasize that the guide to controls now is someone who is a seventh-round draft pick. You have to wonder what Lance would have done if he had been healthy over the course of the full season. If the Niners had struggled, that might have been called a coaching gaffe. But now Shanahan looks more like a genius.
Purdy certainly came out of nowhere. He started 46 games at Iowa State, throwing for 12,179 yards and 81 touchdowns. He had a standout running back there, too, with Breece Hall, who had 1472 yards in 20 touchdowns for the Cyclones last year and may have been on his way to the offensive rookie of the year award with the Jets this season if he had not been injured.
At this point, you have to wonder what will happen with this quarterback situation in San Francisco next year. Garoppolo will be a free agent, so he is more or less out the door. We are unsure whether there will be a competition between Lance and Purdy in next season’s training camp. Maybe it depends on how far Purdy can take the Niners. This will also affect the betting odds set on Purdy at top NFL betting sites.
As the first rookie ever to produce four touchdowns – three passing and one rushing – in a playoff game, he’s probably taking them far enough to justify a starting job.
As far as we are concerned, his ability to operate under pressure was our main concern when looking at the viability of the Niners as a Super Bowl contender. Sure, maybe he’ll blow up sooner or later. But he has passed the test, and against a Dallas squad that has been banged up in the secondary and finds an opponent with as much weaponry, if not more, we are solidly on the side of the Niners in this one.
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