Brock Purdy

Cosell identifies Purdy pass vs. Browns that might be his best ever

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NBC Universal, Inc. Matt Maiocco and Jennifer Lee Chan sit down after the 49ers’ 19-17 loss to the Browns to discuss Brock Purdy’s rocky performance.

Some bloggers and talk-show hosts say things only for clicks.

Greg Cosell of NFL Films is concerned only about the clicker in his hand as he watches video from the many games he studies around the league on a weekly basis.

Quarterback Brock Purdy and the 49ers’ offense struggled in the team’s 19-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

The 49ers saw an end to their five-game win streak and their string of 30-plus point performances to open the season.

But Cosell, appearing this week on KNBR 680's "Tolbert and Copes," pushed back on the notion the 49ers were completely manhandled and Purdy could do nothing right.

Without question, Purdy had the least productive game of his short NFL career.

Purdy completed 12 of 27 pass attempts for 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His 55.3 passer rating dropped his mark for the season to 111.9 for the season — second in the NFL only to Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa.

Yes, it was a bad game.

Or was it?

“I think you have to define ‘bad game,’” Cosell said of Purdy. “He made one of the best throws he’s made in his career on third-and-13 on the 49ers’ third possession when he was under major duress and he threw it to Aiyuk, which he dropped.”

With two Cleveland pass-rushers in his face against a five-man pressure, Purdy delivered a perfectly placed pass 35 yards down the field for Aiyuk, who was closely covered by cornerback Denzel Ward.

Aiyuk got both hands on the ball but could not secure the catch.

Cosell acknowledged there were other throws that were available for Purdy on which he did not connect.

“He missed some throws that he normally makes. OK? By the way, one of my guys went through (Cincinnati's) Joe Burrow this week and said he missed eight throws that were routine throws,” Cosell said. “So do we want to say Joe Burrow is a fraud?”

Cosell came back to some of the other high-level plays Purdy made in the game, including a 17-yarder in traffic to wide receiver Jauan Jennings on an in-breaking route.

“The anticipation; when he threw it; how he understood the defense intuitively; throwing it into an open void,” Cosell said, describing the pass to Jennings.

“But he missed a few throws that were clearly there, too.”

Cosell believed the 49ers’ offense was not nearly as overwhelmed as the statistics showed.

“This idea that the Browns defense just dominated the 49ers, the tape did not show that at all,” Cosell said. “Now, in the second half, they got way behind the sticks for any number of reasons: Penalties, some bad plays, which do happen.

“And no quarterback, and certainly not Purdy, is going to convert third-and-17s and third-and-23.”

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