As the NFL playoffs march on following a thrilling Wild Card Weekend, one of the biggest storylines continues to be the rapid ascension of current San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.
The former Iowa State standout kept his winning ways going with Saturday’s 41-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks, in what was his first career playoff start. Purdy has guided San Francisco to seven consecutive victories since taking over the starting role for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo on Dec. 4.
Purdy’s next test, though, will be his toughest yet. The 49ers will host the Dallas Cowboys at 5:30 p.m. Sunday in the divisional round, with the winner advancing to the NFC Championship Game to face either the New York Giants or Philadelphia Eagles.
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Purdy’s wins have come against the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Commanders, Las Vegas Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and two against the Seattle Seahawks. The only playoff teams from that group — Miami, Seattle and Tampa Bay — all lost this past weekend. The Cowboys’ defense has been solid all year, meaning Purdy will need to deliver another strong performance if the 49ers are to remain alive.
In preparation for Saturday’s game, here is what the NFL media, football analysts and others are saying about Purdy’s late-season rise.
Is Brock Purdy the San Francisco 49ers’ long-term option at quarterback after this season?
That’s what Tim Kawakami thinks.
The veteran Bay Area columnist, who’s now the editor-in-chief of The Athletic’s Bay Area coverage, wrote Sunday that Purdy should be the QB1 in San Francisco after this season. That’s quite the declaration considering Purdy hadn’t taken an NFL snap until early December.
But remember, the 49ers had plenty of quarterback uncertainty before this campaign began. Trey Lance, the 49ers’ first-round pick in 2021, was named the starter in training camp over Garoppolo, who signed a one-year deal late in the preseason to stay with San Francisco. That looked to be the hierarchy until Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2, making Garoppolo the starter until he got hurt.
Garoppolo’s time with San Francisco has been a turbulent one, and Lance’s ability to stay on the field and develop at the rate a first-rounder is expected to has been slowed. All that opens the door for Purdy, who’s shown plenty this last month and could very well lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl.
Just how good was Brock Purdy’s first NFL playoff start?
That’s what The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen answers here.
The box score looks quite nice for Purdy: 18-for-30 for 332 yards and three passing touchdowns, to go with four carries for 16 yards and a ground score. No interceptions, no fumbles. The passing yardage was the highest of Purdy’s brief career.
At the same time, you can’t ignore that Purdy was inserted into the perfect scenario for a rookie quarterback asked to perform immediately at a high level.
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Christian McCaffery is maybe the most versatile running back in the league, while George Kittle is among the most dynamic safety blankets at tight end. Having 1,000-yard receiver Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel to work with doesn’t hurt, either.
That’s what Nguyen dives into — that Purdy is shining beyond belief, but has plenty of help in doing so. Purdy will likely need all that help and then some to keep San Francisco rolling through the playoffs.
Is Brock Purdy already among the next wave of solid young quarterbacks?
That’s what USA TODAY’s Nancy Armour believes.
In a Wild Card Weekend that possibly included Tom Brady’s final NFL game, it’s fitting that several young quarterbacks led teams to playoff victories alongside. Purdy was right in the middle of that group.
At the beginning of this year, no one would’ve included Purdy with the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Daniel Jones and other young QBs making significant splashes. But here we are, with the three names mentioned all securing playoff victories over the weekend.
We’ll see what Purdy has in store next.
Other interesting looks at Brock Purdy’s incredible run
Some of these were published before the playoffs started. Others were written in response to Saturday’s win.
What are the NFL playoff betting odds for Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers?
If you feel like trying to cash in on Purdy’s surge, here are a few options.
For starters, Purdy and San Francisco are 4-point favorites and -200 on the moneyline ($20 bet wins you $10) Sunday against Dallas, according to Tipico Sportsbook.
On DraftKings, Purdy and the 49ers are +175 to win the NFC ($10 bet wins you $17.50) and +450 to win the Super Bowl ($10 bet wins you $45). Purdy is +750 to win Super Bowl MVP ($10 bet wins you $75).
Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at mso[email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Brock Purdy’s run has been spectacular. Here’s what NFL media are saying.