Yahoo Sports’ Matt Harmon, Scott Pianowski and Frank Schwab explain why Brock Purdy's success looks a lot like when Tom Brady came in for Drew Bledsoe in 2001.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: What's fascinating to me is that the Niners have thrown the ball a lot fewer, a lot less, since Purdy took over for Garoppolo. But all the efficiency stats are just as good. The YPA is similar. The rating is similar.
I don't feel like Brock Purdy holds them back. I realize that they don't want to maybe drop him back 35 times. They don't want to expose him to a lot in his first playoff game. Maybe there can be some butterflies there.
But he's just set up for success. The 49ers are like this SUV that has all the trimmings, all the options on it. It's this pilot's chair that you really can't miss with.
And I do think San Francisco will come out with simple throws for Purdy, easy reads, quick, defined throws. But they haven't missed. Again, they haven't thrown as aggressively as they would have with Garoppolo.
And who knows what they would have done with Trey Lance? We may never know. He hasn't played football, really, for three years now. Really, uncharted territory for him next year in fantasy because we love mobile quarterbacks-- we love Kyle Shanahan. We don't really know what to do with Lance.
But I've heard talk-- Mike Salfino was actually pushing back with me about the idea that maybe Jimmy Garoppolo could play later in the playoffs. I think you have to write Purdy. He's undefeated.
FRANK SCHWAB: He's Drew Bledsoe at this point. You don't switch from Tom Brady to Drew Bledsoe.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: For sure. For sure. And not only that, Garoppolo, like any quarterback, just not playing for a few months, there's a rust factor. I think the only way I would ever see Purdy getting benched would be if he played, say, through multiple interceptions in a game, the 49ers survived it.
He'd have to really throw up all over himself. I don't think he's going to do it. I loved George Kittle's props this week. I'm just going to keep writing that.
We've always wanted him for fantasy to be more of a touchdown scorer. And again, it took Brock Purdy to unlock that-- seven touchdowns in the last four. He had two against Seattle in the first game.
This is a game you may-- I think you might watch half of this. And then you might be like, OK, I'm going to go out and get my party stuff, get my food or whatever I need to do before I settle in for the night game.
FRANK SCHWAB: I mean, I just want to throw this out there. And I don't mean to be the guy who is saying every week, like, maybe this is the week Brock Purdy falls back to Earth. But we are in such-- you talk about uncharted territory.
No rookie-- I've said this a bunch of times. You've heard me either with Charles or wherever. No rookie quarterback has ever started in the Super Bowl. No third string quarterback has ever starred in a Super Bowl.
We're trying to check both of those boxes with one guy, and he's Mr. Irrelevant. At some point, if I were to told you, just in a vacuum, yeah, we're going to have a playoff game where the last pick of the draft is starting-- he's a third stringer. He's going to be thrown into the fire in the playoffs.
You would have said, give me the opponent. I don't care the spread. And here we're laying nine and 1/2. And we're just-- all of us, I think-- I think I speak for Matt here. All of us are totally good with it. We're just like, yeah, Brock Purdy is fine. We have no worries about him.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Maybe it's rookie year-- not rookie year, but the Tom Brady thing where he was-- remember, Tom Brady did not steer the Patriots in 2001. He was on the bus. He was not driving the bus. It wasn't his rookie year.
But we could have said, well, hey, Tom Brady, pick 199-- at what point does he wake up and realize this is all a dream and it's not real? The other thing is Seattle-- 27th in DVOA, defense against the run. So this is a game where if the Niners want to win it with McCaffrey and with TDP or with Mason or with Roger Craig or Ricky Watters-- whoever they want to roll out with--
FRANK SCHWAB: Wendell Tyler. Yeah.
SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Yeah. Right. That's going to work.
MATT HARMON: And it's crazy you brought up the name Jimmy Garoppolo, Scott. Brock Purdy has been so good that I haven't even thought about Jimmy G. in, like-- in months. And even when there was the-- remember, there was the report right after Garoppolo got hurt that, oh, he could actually be-- the timeline would line up just right in time for him to get back. I think it was for the NFC Championship game.
And Kyle Shanahan was the one who immediately was kind of like, no, I'm not putting any stock in that, either. We're going to ride with Brock Purdy. And he has been so good.
And Frank, don't you think it-- don't you think it kind of feels different with Brock Purdy in there? I mean, from a passing standpoint, too, he's got a 127.5 passer rating on throws outside the numbers. And those are the numbers-- crazy, right?
FRANK SCHWAB: I know.
MATT HARMON: Those are the throws that-- and obviously, especially when it's deep down the field, those are the throws that Jimmy Garoppolo typically doesn't make and typically doesn't even take. And I think that obviously some of the explosiveness to Kittle is coming over the middle of the field. But still, the offense feels like it's got more juice with Purdy in there than Garoppolo. I don't see any reason why you would go away from him. I think even if he-- if he has that puke on his shoes game, they probably get eliminated from the playoffs.