49ers QB, Brock Purdy displayed an underrated skill in their comeback win against the Lions. It’s a skill that will benefit the 49ers against the Chiefs.
Purdy didn’t start off too hot in the NFC championship game against the Lions.
It was part of why the 49ers only garnered seven points in the first-half. However, Purdy was able to overturn the script in the second-half by making a handful of plays.
He showed his greatest trait in that half, which is his mental fortitude. That is something Purdy never gets enough credit for when he faces pressure both figuratively and literally.
But there is one other trait he has that is massively underrated, and it was put on display against the Lions. It is a trait that will come in handy and prove crucial in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs.
That trait is his “functional mobility” as my good friend Moe Moton of Bleacher Report would say. Purdy demonstrated that mobility to perfection against the Lions by carrying the ball five times for 48-yards.
His longest run was for 21-yards, which potentially could’ve been a touchdown according to Deebo Samuel. Without it, the 49ers likely struggle more on offense.
However, rushing with the ball isn’t the only factor as to what gives him functional mobility. Purdy is talented in maneuvering in the pocket to buy time and knowing how to scramble away when pass rushers are in his face.
More times than not, Purdy will bail out of the pocket based on pressure or if nothing opens up after a few seconds. He does that so well consistently, and it is why he doesn’t take too many sacks.
In the regular season, he was only brought down 28 times, and anyone who has watched the 49ers this year knows that it would’ve been higher if he didn’t utilize his mobility.
So far in the playoffs, Purdy has only been taken down three times. The offensive line gets credit for it, but so does he for escaping some of them and knowing how to handle the pressure.
The Chiefs’ defense is surely going to give Purdy and the 49ers’ offense fits. Not every play will be easy and I’m sure he will face plenty of instances where his mobility will be needed to keep the drive alive.
That can be the difference in winning or losing the Super Bowl. It is something that Kyle Shanahan has always known and appreciates so much about Purdy.
“The first time he got in the preseason you could see him do it,” said Shanahan.
“Then I always go back to his first NFL game with Miami. He made some plays moving around when they were blitzing the heck out of him. It’s so huge.
“You always want a guy who can sit there and get the ball to the right people every single time and find that hole in the defense and make those throws standing in there and being accurate.
“But that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s impossible to get to number three without someone beat.
“He’s got a natural ability of when to give up on the play. When to make a guy miss. When to turn it off schedule. No matter what happens, he gives you a chance.
“Everyone knows because everyone saw it, but those plays he made with his feet last night in the second half that was a problem for the defense and they had some good coverages on. He kept the chains moving and also found a way to get some explosives doing it too.”
Avoiding sacks would’ve been more than enough for Shanahan to be happy, especially when you consider the years with Jimmy Garoppolo.
He would get sacked far too easily or even walk into them. It was pitiful to see. The 49ers’ offense would stall way too often as a result, and that partly occurred in Super Bowl 54 against the Chiefs.
That isn’t the case with Purdy who excels at it. This time around when Chris Jones and the Chiefs’ pass rusher get after the quarterback, they will have to truly earn it.