SANTA CLARA — What began as a “choppy” performance ended with 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy chopping up the New York Giants’ blitz packages on Thursday night.
Purdy completed 25 of 37 passing attempts for a career-high 310 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 111.3 in the 49ers’ 30-12 victory over the Giants.
“I thought he got much better as the game was going on,” 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey said. “I’m not a quarterback’s coach, so I don't always like to comment on quarterback play, but I know that as he started seeing things he was rolling.
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“We're lucky he's our quarterback, that's for sure.”
Purdy appeared to be off his game in the early going in the 49ers’ home opener at Levi’s Stadium.
But as the game wore on, he figured things out and beat the Giants’ blitzes with decisive throws to Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and others.
“I felt like it was a little choppy at first,” Purdy said. “And then once we got into a rhythm, we sort of saw what they were doing and at what point in the game they're going to start doing stuff.”
San Francisco 49ers
Purdy faced a steady diet of blitzes nearly three times the league average. The Giants blitzed Purdy on 37 of his 43 dropbacks, including plays nullified by penalties, according to Pro Football Focus.
On plays in which the Giants’ defense blitzed, Purdy was 19 of 31 for 252 yards with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 108.5.
“That's their scheme. That's how they've done things,” Purdy said. “They're pretty good at it, so going into the game we had an idea just on film and whatnot of what we're going to get. They stuck to it and, yeah, it was a four-quarter game.”
Purdy and Samuel supplied the dagger in the fourth quarter when protection held up well enough to beat another blitz called by New York defensive coordinator Don Martindale for a 27-yard back-shoulder touchdown.
The 49ers appear to have the playmakers on offense to take advantage of teams that roll the dice with sending pressure and weakening their coverage.
Purdy is adept at making pre-snap reads and getting rid of the ball quickly. Samuel, Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey thrive at taking short passes and turning them into big gains.
“I feel like we were able to get a couple plays here and there on their blitz and take advantage of it,” Purdy said. “We’ve got to watch the film, learn from it. When another defense starts to pressure and do things like that, I feel like there are big plays to be made.”