Stat shows why Purdy should be 49ers starter ahead of Lance


The 49ers have a quarterback battle heading into the 2023 NFL season with Brock Purdy, Trey Lance and even Sam Darnold in the mix for the starting job. 

While many believe that Lance should be under center, considering his status as a former first-round pick, the stats point to Purdy being the right choice to become the 49ers’ starting quarterback. 

Football Outsiders released (h/t Niners Nation) the “failed completions” data on Monday for all NFL quarterbacks that qualified for the statistic. The failed completion statistic examines any completed pass that fails to gain 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, or 100 percent on third or fourth down. 

Purdy didn’t have enough attempts to qualify; however, the Iowa State product would have been one of the top signal-callers if he did. The 49ers quarterback had 24 failed completions and a successful completion rate of 52.9 percent, which would have him fifth among quarterbacks had he qualified. 

Lance, although it was a small sample size, had four failed completions and a successful completion rate of 35.5 percent, which would have the North Dakota State product ranked dead last in the NFL.

If Purdy is considered the favorite to be the starting quarterback next season, the 23-year-old still faces an uncertain offseason after suffering an elbow injury in the 2023 NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“He won’t be able to do anything on the field for, who knows,” Shanahan said Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting regarding Purdy’s timetable for a return. “I think it can go anywhere from six months to eight months. It’s all open like that. We will have a better idea, they say, at three months out of surgery of whether it will be six months or eight months.

“I don’t know, it’s how it heals, and I’m sure I’ll get lots of questions, but that’s all I know and I’m pretty good with that.”

RELATED: 49ers' Brock Purdy injury leaves opening for Trey Lance, Kyle Shanahan says

If Purdy isn't ready by training camp and preseason, Lance will need to beat out Darnold for the starting quarterback job and prove the numbers wrong.

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