Be careful, everyone. PurdyMania has begun.
San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy answered just about every question that people had, throwing two TDs and going 16-21 in the Niners 35-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Purdy looked confident, decisive, and delivered passes with accuracy.
PurdyMania is here, and it’s real, brother.
However, the biggest takeaway from watching the Purdy-led Niners is that nothing changed.
Not a single thing changed about the Niners offense. Around the same amount of pistol, same usage of the players. Same Kyle Shanahan scheme.
The 49ers have built their team, especially their offense, not to be QB-proof. No offense is can be truly great without an at least league-average QB playing. However, what the Niners are doing is using their playcalling, playmakers and protection to ensure that the margin for error for any QB that plays in the offense is extremely wide.
The 49ers are an absolute PROBLEM to defend. Not just because they have world class players at very important positions, it’s because of how Shanahan deploys these world class players, and causes problems for opposing defenses.
Against the Buccaneers, who want to create pressure using sub package looks (nickel, dime), the Niners kept the Bucs defense in their base and made Purdy’s life easier. This is an incompletion, but a good look at what the process is for the Niners. They start in 2 back personnel with 1 tight end (21), with both backs in the backfield. Then they motion RB Christian McCaffrey out to receiver. Then they pull WR Deebo Samuel in motion behind Purdy and at at the snap, there are four people who can go into this concept. The Bucs defense is pulled with the numbers to one side, opening up WR Brandon Aiyuk. This is what it means to create an offense that can execute good process regardless of QB.
When you have players who can takeover a game such as McCaffrey, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk, it makes the margin for error wider for QBs like Purdy, while also keeping the offense on course. The offense didn’t change because it doesn’t have to change. As long as the world class skill position players are playing then Kyle Shanahan himself could get out there and play QB.
On Purdy’s first TD to Christian McCaffrey, the Niners used their players’ ability to be queens on the chessboard to make big plays. The Niners run Y Cross, an Air Raid staple that has a receiver run a go route to one side, a slot receiver run a short route, like an out, then a crossing route coming from across the field. However, the Niners have Christian McCaffrey run the go, and George Kittle is in the backfield as a pass blocker.
So, to recap: a RB is running the go route, and the Y isn’t even crossing. He’s pass blocking. Just insane stuff from Shanahan, and an easy TD for Purdy. The corner to that side, Jamel Dean, isn’t even thinking that this is going to be a go route, but an in breaker. Unfortunately for him, it was a go, and a TD for San Francisco.
Going forward, Purdy will more than likely be tasked to make throws that could cause him problems. Every QB is going to, especially now that teams have film on him. However, the Niners are built to continue to be the second best team in the NFC because they have the Jimmies, Joes and Kyles to let PurdyMania run wild.