Daniel Jones silences haters, while Brandon Staley chokes

My guy is living the dream. Purdy is one step closer to cementing himself as the 49ers’ 2023 starting QB — and a San Francisco legend.

Back in December, when we still had a couple weeks remaining in the regular season, I ranked the 49ers as the top NFC title contender. Admittedly, I praised San Francisco’s defense to the hilt, but I didn’t exactly give the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft short shrift, writing the following:

The freshly minted 23-year-old sure looks like he belongs, eh? Obviously, Purdy greatly benefits from having an elite play-caller in Kyle Shanahan and a smorgasbord of game-changing weapons at his disposal. If Deebo Samuel returns with fresh (and healthy) legs for the postseason run? Watch out.

Purdy began Saturday’s game against rival Seattle looking like an over-amped rookie making his first playoff start, but then he settled down, settled in and destroyed the Seahawks in a 41-23 win. Finishing with 332 passing yards, three touchdown passes and an additional rushing score, Purdy became the first rookie with four total TDs in a playoff game. And honestly, his most impressive play of the day was a scrambling dart that Brandon Aiyuk dropped in the end zone.

Mr. Irrelevant? Forget that nonsense. Purdy is now 6-0 as an NFL starter with 14 touchdown passes, two rushing scores and just two turnovers in those games. He’s been amazing, maximizing the aforementioned “smorgasbord of game-changing weapons” on San Francisco’s offense. And I’d say Deebo has indeed returned with fresh legs for the playoffs, judging by his line on Saturday: nine touches for 165 yards and a touchdown. So, yeah, watch out! This is undoubtedly the team to beat in the NFC, with a legitimate signal-caller to forge a Super Bowl run.

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