There were times Sunday when former Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy looked like a rookie signal caller just trying to survive in a tough playoff affair. But Purdy played well enough in crucial moments to guide the San Francisco 49ers to the NFC title game.
Purdy finished Sunday’s divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys with 214 yards on 19-for-29 passing with no touchdowns but no turnovers. He also added three carries for eight yards.
The morning after, here’s what NFL media members are saying about the rookie quarterback now one victory from the Super Bowl.
Although his stats weren’t eye-popping, Brock Purdy’s poise showed up in the most crucial moments.
Purdy’s biggest play was a 30-yard hookup with George Kittle that led to San Francisco’s only touchdown late in the third quarter. Purdy’s ability to extend the play and find Kittle off-script offered another look at the poise Purdy has showed during this run.
The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II addressed that very topic here, praising Purdy for his ability to handle adversity in huge spots.
And Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News gave Purdy plenty of kudos as well in this piece.
“It took until Sunday night’s 19-12 NFC divisional playoff win over the Cowboys for (Purdy) to put up poor passing numbers,” Iyer wrote. “But given the degree of difficulty vs. Dallas defense, the 49ers seventh-round rookie turned in his best performance yet despite his worst stats.
Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today writes that Purdy should be the starter in Sunday’s NFC Championship game, even if Jimmy Garoppolo (broken foot) is ready to return.
“It shouldn’t matter,” Reyes wries. “Rookie Brock Purdy showed he can withstand a relentless pass rush, an offensive line that at times struggled and a slow-developing rushing game. Purdy (19-of-29 for 214 yards) protected the ball, delivered accurate throws (within the timing and rhythm of the offense), didn’t dwell on mistakes and found the team’s top target in George Kittle. San Francisco’s defense is the strength of the team. The Niners also have a dynamic rushing attack. They don’t need Purdy to be outstanding. They just need him to do exactly what he has done in his seven starts, each of which have been victories.”
Brock Purdy vs. Jalen Hurts in the NFC title game dug up memories off a previous Big 12 thriller
Whatever happens next Sunday, it’ll be hard for Purdy and Hurts to top the drama they delivered on Nov. 9, 2019.
The former Big 12 stars battled it out at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma — with Hurts and the Sooners escaping with a narrow 42-41 victory. Iowa State opted for a potential game-winning two-point conversion with 24 seconds remaining, but the attempt failed.
Getting to that point required Purdy to orchestrate an incredible fourth-quarter comeback, as Iowa State nearly erased a 21-point deficit in the final period.
Both quarterbacks delivered incredible stat lines that day. Hurts finished 18-for-26 for 273 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, also adding 22 carries for 68 yards and two ground scores. Purdy finished 19-for-30 for 282 yards and five touchdowns, also adding 15 carries for 55 yards and a ground score.
Memories from that game began trickling out Sunday night once the matchup was set. Expect plenty more references to that game as the week progresses.
Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: What NFL media are saying about Brock Purdy after Sunday’s playoff win