Air it out: Purdy surpasses Jimmy G in one key passing stat

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Brock Purdy quickly shed the "Mr. Irrelevant" tag in the 49ers' lopsided 35-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

In the first half, the 22-year-old rookie quarterback went 5 of 5 for 117 yards and two touchdowns on passes over 10 air yards. Overall, Purdy completed 16 of 21 passes for 185 yards, and used the deep ball to find Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey on the two TDs, outperforming Tom Brady.

Purdy scrambled for his first NFL TD against the Bucs' defense, then began airing out the ball to torment the opposition even more. McCaffrey was on the receiving end of a 27-yard pass from Purdy to find the end zone.

Airing it out continued to break Tampa Bay's comeback hopes late in the second quarter. Purdy initially had a pass intercepted by Bucs linebacker Anthony Nelson, but the play didn't stand because of a defensive holding penalty. Purdy then made the Bucs pay with a deep throw to Aiyuk for a TD right before the first half ended, as the game turned into a blowout.

Purdy's ability to throw the deep ball currently has him leading the NFL in completion percentage (68.4 percent) and completion percentage over expected (+12.2 percent) on passes over 10 air yards this season (minimum 50 attempts).

RELATED: Brock Purdy's dad gets emotional after QB's TD pass in 49ers-Bucs

Furthermore, Purdy's deep-ball performance against Tampa Bay puts him in the lead for most deep passing touchdowns among 49ers quarterbacks with two, even ahead of Jimmy Garoppolo, who played in 11 games with 10 starts and had one such scoring throw.

Purdy will look to carry his Week 14 performance on the road when the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks on "Thursday Night Football" at Lumen Field.

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