SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Having had time to reflect on what was statistically the worst performance of his young career, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy walked away from Monday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens with valuable lessons.
On Wednesday, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said the biggest problem for Purdy wasn’t so much the turnovers themselves — Shanahan repeatedly said the first interception was a bad mistake, but attributed the three more came from unfortunate bounces – but the way Purdy played afterwards. them.
“It’s tough to play a lot of football after having four picks, especially when you’re down against that type of defense,” Shanahan said. “I think it was the best experience for him. How to feel that, know what happened, know why it happened, and still have to go out there and go out there and play. I think it was “It’s the best experience you can have in this game.”
Indeed, when Purdy met with Bay Area media on Thursday, he co-signed Shanahan’s assessment and offered deeper insight into his mindset after reaching that career-high four interceptions, including the latest helped turn a four-point halftime deficit into an 18-point margin just over three minutes into the third quarter.
Considering the Niners had never been in a situation like this with Purdy under center, it was a new scenario to tackle. Even though there was still plenty of time left on the clock, Purdy said he found himself struggling internally between trying to get back in the game with big plays and worrying about turning it over again.
“It’s just not about being in the right mindset as a quarterback, having the aggressive trigger to make the throw the big play, but also shooting, you don’t want to go back the ball again,” Purdy said. “It’s a lousy mindset. But it’s the learning experience of going back and saying that each play has its own life. You have to take it one play at a time and not try to win the title game by a few big plays. And when I think like that, I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind towards the end when we were trying to get back into it. So that’s the learning experience.
On several occasions against the Ravens, including the first interception, Purdy had a checking option, but instead attempted to throw a pass in a tight window to receiver Deebo Samuel.
But Purdy has also been successful all season by finding the balance between knowing when to let go and making the layups. That’s why none of his teammates seem too concerned about Purdy’s ability to bounce back this week against the Washington Commanders and beyond.
“I’m not going to tell Brock how to play the position,” tight end George Kittle said. “I trust his instincts. He’s done a great job so far over the last two seasons. He’s done a great job throughout his career, so whatever way he wants to play the position quarterback, I agree with that.”
Shanahan rewatched the game with Purdy on Tuesday, and the two discussed where they could have been better. Shanahan and Purdy discussed why each turnover occurred, but Shanahan also told his quarterback that the tape showed a player having a tough game with normal practice points like he would not any other week.
Despite his struggles Monday night, Purdy still ranks first in the NFL in QBRs (71.7) and yards per attempt (9.7) and second in touchdown passes (29) and passing yards (4 050). Likewise, the 49ers remain in control of their playoff positioning and can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC as early as this week with a victory coupled with losses to the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles.
“Watching the film was difficult, but it was good for me,” Purdy said. “I had to learn it and I’m glad it happened now.
One thing that won’t stop Purdy from having a chance to bounce back against the Commanders is the sore left shoulder he suffered in the fourth quarter of Monday’s loss.
This was the second straight game in which Purdy left the game with the injury, and he did not return against the Ravens, with Sam Darnold finishing in his place. Purdy said Thursday he doesn’t believe there are any concerns about the shoulder long-term.
“It went well,” Purdy said. “There was a lot of treatment and everything just took care of the pain in the whole shoulder area, in the trap area…I’ll be good for this game.”
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