San Francisco 49ers

Is 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy really that good?

Eagles' defensive backs reflect on Brock Purdy's impressive play this season.

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He’s got the highest passer rating in NFL history. Just ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers.

He’s got the highest completion percentage in NFL history. Just ahead of Joe Burrow and Drew Brees.

He’s got the highest touchdown percentage in the last 50 years. Again, just ahead of Mahomes and Rodgers.

While some fans may shrug off Brock Purdy as a fluky 7th-round product of the 49ers’ system, the Eagles’ defensive backs have been wowed at what they see on tape.

“Nothing jumps out about him physically, but he's a good, sound, fundamental, composed, consistent player,” corner Bradley Roby said. “And that goes way farther than the height and weight and speed. He's a football player.

“He has things you can't measure. You can't measure heart, you can't measure composure, you can't measure pocket escape ability, you can't measure anticipation, you can't measure being a leader. All that stuff you can't measure.

“That’s why he wasn’t drafted until the seventh round. Sometimes you just gotta see what somebody's like on the field. He does a great job in his position. He does all the things he needs to do.”

Here’s a look at the odds for the Week 13 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Purdy will make his 17th career start Sunday when the 49ers face the Eagles at the Linc in the latest Game of the Year.

The Eagles are 10-1 and have owned or shared the best record in the NFL for 30 weeks now (guaranteed to reach at least 31). The 49ers are 8-3 after a 13-4 season last year.

Purdy has a 13-3 regular-season record with 69.1 percent accuracy, a 110.5 passer rating and a touchdown on 6.7 percent of his pass attempts. The first two are NFL records. The third is the best in 50 years.

“I see a guy that's comfortable back there,” safety Kevin Byard said. “I see a guy that's able to get all his playmakers involved. He's executing their game plan and their offense at a very high level. That's why they're winning. That's why he's been their starting quarterback. 

"He's playing at a really high level, in my opinion. It's going to be a challenge to try to stop them, to try to disrupt the timing and the flow and the rhythm of their offense, to try to get them off kilter a little bit.”

Purdy went 5-0 in the regular season last year after replacing injured Jimmy Garoppollo and didn’t lose until the NFC Championship Game, when he suffered a torn elbow ligament while being hit by Haason Reddick and losing a fumble.

He was 4-for-4 for 23 yards and was sacked once before he left the game in the first quarter. Josh Johnson replaced him but left the game early in the third quarter with a concussion after going 7-for-13 for 74 yards. Purdy returned to the game because the 49ers didn’t have any other quarterbacks but threw only one more pass – for three yards. 

The Eagles won 31-7 to reach the Super Bowl.

NBC Sports' Jay Croucher breaks down some of the matchups on football Sunday in Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season.

But this year Purdy has been healthy and playing at a record-setting level. He’s on pace to join Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson – both in 2020 – with at least 29 TDs, single-digit interceptions and 70 percent accuracy in a season.

“I would say I think it first starts with the head coach,” James Bradberry said. “They do a good job of coaching up quarterback play and just having a good game plan for whatever team they play against. 

"Purdy, I would call him somewhat of a gunslinger. He takes opportunities, he takes chances. Throws the ball into tight windows. He has a strong arm and he trusts his arm. That's one thing as a quarterback, you've got to be able to trust your arm and sometimes anticipate guys getting open. He does a good job of doing that.” 

There’s one category where Purdy is not among the NFL leaders. That’s pass attempts. He’s 25th with just under 28 passes per game. The 49ers want to run the ball to take pressure off opposing pass rushers and make Purdy even more dangerous.

Christian McCaffrey is second in the league with 17.6 carries per game, and the 49ers overall are sixth with 30.6 carries per game.

Over the last two years, 48 quarterbacks have thrown 40 passes in a game. Justin Herbert has done it 14 times, Kirk Cousins 13 times, Tom Brady 13 times – all obviously last year.

Purdy has never thrown more than 37 passes in a game.

“It’s not like they ask him to pass the ball 40, 50 times a game,” Roby said. “It's a balanced, kind of an old-school throwback offense. 

“And he has great anticipation. He throws the ball before guys get open a lot. You don't really see that very often. That's kind of almost a lost art. I played with Peyton Manning, and he used to do that.  “I remember playing against him and, like, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ I'm right here, but he's throwing it before the guy even breaks. As soon as he turns around, the ball’s right there. I think that's what he does a great job of. Something that you don't really see too often, but he does a great job of anticipating.”

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