Brock Purdy Has The Most Inspirational NFL Story We’ve Heard In A Long Time
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
— 17 January 2023

Brock Purdy Has The Most Inspirational NFL Story We’ve Heard In A Long Time

— 17 January 2023

“Mr Irrelevant” is a fairly cruel nickname bestowed upon the player selected with the final pick in the NFL Draft. Having to watch 261 guys chosen before him over the course of three days, the player with Mr Irrelevant status is again reminded that there’s basically no hope for their professional career. Because you can’t silence the doubters when no one cares enough to doubt you in the first place.

Brock Purdy is an underdog story that pretty much defies all logic. The 2022 Mr Irrelevant was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers (Round 7, Pick 41 – 262 overall) as the third-string quarterback behind Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. The former was a young star with a lot of potential and the latter is a veteran quarterback who has taken them to the Super Bowl before. This is a team with big aspirations and Purdy was an afterthought expected to spend the year on the practice squad.

That was until the 49ers starter Trey Lance had a season-ending ankle injury against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. To add to San Francisco’s worries, the Week 13 matchup against the Miami Dolphins saw Jimmy Garoppolo also go down with a season-ending injury. They then had to turn to the guy picked last in the NFL draft to save the game and their season.

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After checking in for Garoppolo, Purdy finished the Dolphins game having completed 25-of-37 passes for 210 yards with two touchdowns. He became the first Mr Irrelevant in history to throw a touchdown pass in a regular season game. With that, he was thrust into the role of QB1 for a team with Super Bowl hopes in his rookie season.

In the next game, the 49ers defeated the Buccaneers 35-7, making Purdy the only quarterback to beat Tom Brady in his first career start. He threw 185 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, along with a 2-yard rushing touchdown. “Brock Purdy” chants filled Levi Stadium as his father was moved to tears. Straight out of a goddamn movie.

Brock Purdy was named the NFC’s Rookie of the Month for December and January after going 5-0 in his first five games as a starter. Brock Purdy threw for 1,374 yards for 13 touchdowns and four interceptions, earning him an impressive passer rating of 119.4. Finishing the regular season on this five-game streak led the 49ers to the second seed in the playoffs.

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Brock Purdy Has The Most Inspirational NFL Story We've Witnessed In A Long Time
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Rookie quarterbacks are 2-9 in playoff games since 2010. The 49ers have never won a playoff game with a rookie starting quarterback in their entire history. That was until Mr Irrelevant showed up.

In the 49ers’ Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks, he completed 18-of-30 passes for 332 yards and scored four total touchdowns, which is the most of any rookie quarterback in NFL playoffs history. The 49ers beat the Seahawks 41-23, making Brock Purdy 6-0 in career starts.

The San Francisco 49ers’ odds to win the Super Bowl are at +375, which amounts to about a 21% chance, putting them behind the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs. No rookie quarterback has ever led his team to a Super Bowl.

The San Francisco 49ers play the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round on 23 January 2023. Can the magic continue? Will we see Mr Irrelevant finish the year 9-0 in career starts as the Super Bowl LVII Champion? Or will he come back down to earth? Only time will tell.

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