Jordan Love

Simms offers odd Jordan Love-49ers Super Bowl LVIII take

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Brock Purdy and the 49ers fell just short of hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy back in February, but NBC Sports' Chris Simms believes a change at quarterback could have got the job done.

“If [Green Bay Packers quarterback] Jordan Love played in the Super Bowl, the 49ers would be the Super Bowl champions," Simms proclaimed on the latest edition of "Chris Simms Unbuttoned."

Love spent his first two NFL seasons learning behind future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers before taking the reins during a breakout 2023 campaign.

The 25-year-old played all 17 games in his first full season as the team's starter, throwing for 4,159 yards, 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on a 64.2 completion rate (579 attempts).

"Jordan Love, what he did at the end of the year, the last 10 weeks of the season, they took the training wheels off and he played at a phenomenally high level," Simms said. "And [he] really was asked to do more [than Purdy] definitely on a physical basis."

After a 2-5 start, Love led Green Bay's remarkable turnaround to earn the NFC's No. 7 playoff seed. And after stunning the No. 2-seed Dallas Cowboys on the road, the Packers earned a playoff meeting with the No. 1-seed 49ers in the divisional round.

While Green Bay ultimately stumbled in a 24-21 loss to San Francisco, Simms still believes Love, aside from two costly throws, including a game-sealing interception on the final drive, outperformed Purdy.

"If you went back [to the NFC Divisional game], Jordan Love had the two interceptions at the end of the game. Jordan Love in that game played better than Brock Purdy," Simms said. "Brock Purdy should have thrown seven interceptions in that game. He got lucky that night. We’d all be talking differently if Green Bay could catch. It was not a good night.

" ... When [the 49ers' offense] is working on all cylinders, there's not a lot that Purdy does to bring the offense back up. Now, he does more than Jimmy Garoppolo used to do and it's definitely an improvement in that and all areas, but I'd still like to see some more."

After a rocky start to the season, Love finished his first full campaign as the starter strong.

Meanwhile, Purdy strung together a historic campaign in his second year with the 49ers and first full season as the starter. The 24-year-old led the league in passer rating (113.0) and had 31 touchdowns with 4,280 passing yards all while leading his team to Super Bowl LVIII.

With the 2024 offseason program underway, Purdy and the 49ers have flipped the script and are focused on continuing their Quest for Six. But Simms believes San Francisco already would have fulfilled that quest had Love been the team's starter under center.

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