SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Kyle Shanahan has the clearest and deepest talk about his play calls and game plans. The 49ers’ attacking heart, soul and conscience all lay bare on the field through his headset every weekend. You can’t hide from it, and Shanahan doesn’t want to hide from it.
What Happened in Saturday’s 49ers Playoff Opener Seattle Is the defense clearly aimed at stopping runs? A lot has happened. If you want to understand what’s going on with this team as they charge into next weekend’s divisional rounds and beyond, all that matters has happened.
shanahan called rookie brock purdy To throw a pass on the first play (a wild incomplete on a wet ball), the second play (a 19-yard completion), and the fourth play (an incomplete), Purdy scored on the fifth play (a 7-yard 49ers en route to the field goal for the first points of the game, throwing a pass on the sixth play (incomplete). Shanahan then continued to call pass plays.
It didn’t dominate immediately, but the tone was set for this 41-23 wildcard round win at Levi’s Stadium. Evidence was inevitable. this is, 49ers Now this postseason, and probably for much longer than that.they face either vikings (if Sunday wins) or Monday night winner Tampa Bay–Dallas game (if the Vikings lose). And whoever it is, a team playing against the 49ers will understand that Brock must find a way to beat his Purdy.
It’s not like Shanahan will give up runs, in fact, he balanced out pretty quickly in the second half (the 49ers finished with 33 runs and 30 passes). But now the 49ers can do a full-tilt raid if needed. And they want to.
In Purdy’s first playoff game and just six playoff games NFL start (and this was the rookie QB’s first playoff win since Russell Wilson 2012), Shanahan took the game into his own hands and was very happy to stay with it for a long time. Because it worked, especially against the Seahawks’ defense, which was piling up the line of scrimmage.
‘I think they were trying to steal a run, but we fired,’ said the fullback. Kyle Jashchik Said. “He had some meat on his bones for sure, but he was still playing explosively all day. I understand what their plan is. They let him throw the ball. I’m sure you’re trying. I’m sure that’s everyone’s plan.
“But I think he’s proven it’s okay. He can make big plays in the passing game.”
Purdy family 🙌 @Brock Purdy 13 pic.twitter.com/sjVGrVGG4p
—NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2023
Shanahan trusted Purdy so much that he missed a few throws early on (when it was drizzling) but managed to throw 7 over 15 yards. He continued to hit plays in all games, including one pass play. On the day, Purdy threw 332 yards and he went 18-for-30 with three touchdowns and no interceptions at his rating of 131.5 passers. He also ran for 16 yards and a TD four times.
“It would be easy for[Shanahan]to say, ‘Okay, let’s run the ball. We’re going to get three or four yards and we’re going to figure this out,'” Yuszczyk said. “I think he’s confident in a block he can play on his own.”
Of course Shanahan is famous Jimmy Garoppolo Only threw eight times in the 49ers’ NFC Championship Game packers in January 2020. Prior to that, Garoppolo had pitched only 19 times in a divisional-round victory over the Vikings.
This is not a Garoppolo knock. The 49ers won those games, that’s what mattered. But the point is, this is all new here. Purdy has proven that Shanahan can handle more responsibilities in his six seasons than he’s trusted with any 49ers QB.
“I felt that way from the beginning. Miamiwhen we couldn’t afford to sit there and worry about how the game was going,” Shanahan said. He’s done it every time since then, and we’ve had a lot of faith in him and he gives us more and more confidence every week.”
He has shown impressive elusiveness in six games since coming out after Garoppolo was injured in the Miami game. But on Saturday, the performance expanded exponentially — Purdy zigzagged away from the pressure a few times, huge plays, a few TDs of his and, most importantly, a terrible loss or turn. led the over to zero.
“I think some of those touchdowns are what I’ve been doing my whole life in terms of finding a way when they’re not there,” Purdy said.
Purdy’s best improvisations actually occurred in the imperfect fourth quarter. He ran almost to the left side line and ran around the full width of the field, pumping the Seahawks defensive lineman his fake him and throwing a laser. Brandon Ayuk in the end zone. Aiyuk was unable to corral the ball, but that was quite the exclamation point.
Yeah his teammates are aware.
“It’s great to see what he’s doing back there,” said the wide receiver. Deebo Samuel Said. “It exhausts us a little. We have to run around too, try to open up. But it works.”
Last week’s match cardinals.
Kyle, I just saw it in action in this game, is Purdy’s enhanced scramble okay now?
“No,” said Shanahan, shaking his head impassively.
“He’s been great at some,” Shanahan said. “That last shot was very close. It was unbelievable that he threw it to BA in the corner. I know he missed it. But he felt it. He definitely makes me nervous, but he’s done the hard work of getting away with it, he knows his body… he’s trying to never give up playing, and he has handled the ball very cleverly so far.”
It was enough to get the attention of some pretty notable NFL fans.
PURDY GOT GAME!!!!!!!!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 14, 2023
“Did LeBron say that?” Purdy looked genuinely excited when he was informed of the tweet.
offensive tackle Trent Williams: “I love the fact that Brock gets the attention he deserves. He’s a good player. And I think anyone who watches football can see that. If he’s next. didn’t say Aaron Rogers Or Pat Mahomes, but he does everything we need. Of course, I think I can keep winning with him.”
Not everything was perfect. But the 49ers veteran liked everything he saw from Purdy when things were damp and a little disappointing at first, and when he scored 25 straight points to start the second half.
Purdy usually largely blamed himself for the 49ers going 17-16 going into halftime, despite outscoring the Seahawks 249-176 up to that point. This is because the 49ers had to score his two short field goals on the Reds drive into his zone, and some defensive breakdowns suddenly gave Seattle a lot of oomph.
“Going into halftime, Kyle candidly said, ‘Hey, the play is there, the opportunity is there. We have to keep it simple and get it to everyone,'” Purdy said.
Response: The 49ers had a 13-play TD drive shortly after scoring the second-half kickoff, which Purdy himself closed out with a 1-yard sneak.So Charles Omeniffe Stole the ball from the Seattle QB Geno Smith next possession and Nick Bosa recovered. And suddenly the rout began.
Meanwhile, Purdy moved around and found Elijah Mitchell It’s wide open on the right flat for a 7-yard touchdown. Purdy’s first reading was left Aiyuk, but Aiyuk was covered. Purdy then came under pressure, rolled to the left and felt more pressure so he returned to center and flipped over to Mitchell in the right flat. Easy TD.
Then came this:
341 yards total. 4 TDs in total.
Purdies in the playoffs are in full effect.# Super wild card #NFL Playoffspic.twitter.com/IQVcd9TAJS
—NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2023
At the time, Purdy appeared to start throwing it before Mitchell turned to him. Which Purdy basically confirmed. Instinct, both ways. That’s why he said he was celebrating so loudly.
“It’s just a broken play,” Purdy said. “I was going left to BA and trying to make my progress from there. He was able to get out.He was my last reading.The front side broke right away.When I scrambled, Elijah was where I needed him.
“And that’s why I was excited. I trusted him to be here. Yes, it’s a big moment for everyone.”
For the 49ers, the moment just keeps getting bigger. Their rookie QB certainly hasn’t shrunk. Right next to the field. It’s happening.
Thompson: Seahawks hit first, but Deebo Samuel hit the loudest
(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)