Brock Purdy NFL Story

Purdy redeems himself with clutch game-winning drive vs. Packers

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SANTA CLARA — Brock Purdy did not look like the MVP-caliber quarterback who set 49ers franchise records during the 2023 NFL regular season.

His second pass attempt hit Green Bay Packers safety Darnell Savage in the chest. Purdy got lucky with the dropped interception that could have just as easily been a pick-six.

The first 3.5 quarters seemed to be a combination of Purdy being off-target and his receivers not being where he expected.

“I think there were times that we were all off,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said following his team's 24-21 NFC divisional-playoff-round victory on Saturday at Levi's Stadium.

But when the 49ers were out of chances and the season was on the line, Purdy came through in a big way.

He completed six of seven pass attempts on the make-or-break drive for 47 yards. He also picked up a first down with a third-down sneak and came through with a 9-yard scramble to set up Christian McCaffrey’s game-winning touchdown with 1:07 remaining.

Purdy bounced back from a shaky start and was the best quarterback on the field Saturday night. He completed 23 of 39 pass attempts for 252 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

“I think early on in the game there were just moments where the check down was there and I was missing the check downs,” Purdy said. “Their defense did a good job with playing soft, keeping everything in front of them, sort of taking away our shot.

“And as a quarterback, you’ve got to be efficient and hit the checkdowns. And so, at the end, I was able to do that. The O-line did a great job, boys did a great job in getting open and we found a way.”

Shanahan detailed some of the issues the 49ers’ offense experienced. The Packers got pressure up the middle that impacted Purdy’s rhythm, footwork, follow-through and accuracy.

One obvious miscommunication occurred on a play in which wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud appeared to get open on a third-and-10 deep ball in the fourth quarter.

“He (McCloud) went to an off-schedule (route) and Brock threw it in rhythm,” Shanahan said. “So those things showed up without a doubt.”

These were not easy conditions for a quarterback. Green Bay’s Jordan Love had more than his share of problems on the other side, too.

Love completed 21 of 34 pass attempts for 194 yards. He threw two touchdown passes but also committed the only two turnovers of the game with two interceptions. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw came up with both takeaways.

Despite their issues in the passing game, the 49ers took over with 6:18 remaining down only 21-17 after Packers rookie kicker Anders Carlson missed a 41-yard field goal.

One of the key plays came when wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk made a diving catch for a 10-yard gain on a third-and-5 situation.

“They had real tight coverage on B.A. and Brock threw a perfect low ball to B.A.,” Shanahan said. “That's really tough to catch and B.A. went down and got it.”

Purdy picked apart the Packers’ defense on the game-winning drive. Other than a 17-yard pass to Chris Conley, none of Purdy’s other completions gained more than 10 yards.

“At the end of the day, I think I was just able to go through progressions and get to the check down efficiently and move the chains and stay up rather than get behind,” Purdy said.

“Obviously, we got to a third down, and B.A. was clutch on it and made a great play. You need that throughout a drive.”

With Purdy at quarterback in the regular season and playoffs, the 49ers are 21-5 since taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo last season.

Purdy's sterling record includes the loss in the NFC Championship game a year ago to the Philadelphia Eagles when he was able to attempt only four passes due to an elbow injury.

On Saturday, Purdy had his second game-winning drive in the postseason and his first fourth-quarter comeback victory.

“Brock made some big plays in this game and missed a couple,” Shanahan said. “But leading us down on that last drive and getting the win, that's all you can ask for.”

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