Super Bowl 2024: Brock Purdy Puts Silly ‘Game Manager’ Label To Rest Despite San Francisco 49ers Loss
Quarterback Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers displayed his skills as more than just a "game manager" during Super Bowl LVIII. He showcased himself as a top-notch quarterback. (Picture credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Brock Purdy didn't win the Super Bowl that night, but he proved himself in his loss.
In Super Bowl LVIII, the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs with a score of 25-22 in overtime. As a result, Purdy and the Niners will face more questions about their ability to beat the Chiefs in crucial moments during the next offseason. However, the label of Purdy being a "game manager" should no longer be used.
The quarterback who is in his second year at the age of 24 managed to keep up with Patrick Mahomes, widely recognized as the top quarterback in the sport and who may be on track to surpass Tom Brady as the greatest ever. However, things changed during the Chiefs' last possession of the game. Nonetheless, the young quarterback performed well, making no errors throughout the game, and even took the lead twice in the fourth quarter and overtime while the game was tied.
Purdy's stats at the end of the game were: 22 completed passes out of 38 attempts, gaining 255 yards with one touchdown. He didn't give away the ball at any point and he only got sacked once, despite the strong and aggressive defense from the Chiefs.
One thing that could be criticized about Purdy's performance is that he missed opportunities to score touchdowns when he kicked field goals towards the end of the game. Purdy failed to score twice when the 49ers were close to the Chiefs' end zone, especially on third down when the team needed five yards or less. As a result, the 49ers had to settle for field goals.
The 2022 NFL Draft's final selection, also known as Mr. Irrelevant, claimed ownership over that matter after the game.
Following the game, Purdy confessed that although we possessed the team and the offense necessary to score touchdowns, I, unfortunately, was not able to lead our team in such a way as to allow us to accomplish this goal.
Purdy didn't lose the game just because of the field goals. The Niners made more mistakes and that was the deciding factor. The mistakes, such as the messed up punt return and the blocked extra point, were more expensive than Purdy not being able to lead touchdown drives on the last two possessions.
Additionally, it is important to mention that the defensive effort of San Francisco was unsuccessful in preventing Mahomes on a fourth down, while the Niners were able to maintain a 10-point lead during the game.
Although Purdy isn't playing to earn moral victories or gain approval from the media, his courageous display on the field proved that he's not just a "game manager" like some people believe due to his draft history. He went head-to-head with Mahomes until the very end, only turning over the ball once, which puts to rest those who labeled him as just a game manager.
Years ago, when Brady achieved the same level of achievement as a fellow draftee, he too was labelled a "game manager". However, during that time, it was considered as a more positive comment rather than a critique.
Purdy has been called a "game manager" in a negative tone, even though he has managed to lead two comeback victories in the fourth quarter of playoff games, one where they were down by 17 points in the NFC Championship Game.
Additionally, even though Brady performed incredibly well during the Patriots' initial period of dominance, he wasn't considered one of the top five potential winners for the Most Valuable Player award in his second season as the team's starting quarterback.
No, this isn't to belittle Brady and equate Purdy with him. The intention is to demonstrate that Purdy has progressed more than Brady did in their initial two seasons.
That is a significant statement, even if individuals may be unwilling to acknowledge it.
He had only been in the NFL for two years, and in his first season as a full-time starter after sustaining a serious injury, he topped the charts in various categories for passing, such as passer rating, yards per completion, and yards per attempt. To add to his achievements, he even surpassed the record for most passing yards in a single season by a player from his team, which is already home to two legendary quarterbacks, Joe Montana and Steve Young.
A quarterback may be referred to as a negative term of "game manager" if they are unable to lead their team to comeback victories or requires flawless gameplay to secure a win. However, a quarterback who is deemed a "game manager" would not be leading the NFL in numerous passing categories during their initial full season as a starting player.
Is he just a game manager because he's on a team that has several Pro Bowlers and a highly respected coach in Kyle Shanahan? Or is it because he was chosen as the 262nd pick in the draft?
When talking about the labeling of Purdy as a "game manager," Christian Ponder, a former NFL quarterback, expressed his opinion that it's a silly categorization.
Ponder expressed amusement before the game about how being labeled a game manager is considered a negative trait for quarterbacks. He questioned why this was the case and stated that quarterbacks' main responsibility is to manage the game effectively, minimize turnovers, and distribute the ball to the team's playmakers. Ponder acknowledged that the quarterback of the team has executed this role exceptionally well, which is why they have made it to the Super Bowl.
When Purdy entered the game, many people wrongly labeled him as a "game manager", which shows a lack of effort and respect. Although many people will still believe this narrative, especially after the loss, Purdy showed something significant despite the defeat.
He's not just someone who plays it safe on the field. He's actually one of the top quarterbacks around.