For Brock Purdy, it very much all began with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Amid intrigue and ballyhoo, the 2022 “Mr. Irrelevant” got the first start of his rookie campaign against the Bucs — filling in for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo, who was filling in for an injured Trey Lance. Garoppolo is gone, and so too is Lance.
Purdy remains, and just as he did in Week 14 of last season, he’ll take the field as the 49ers’ QB1 against the visiting Buccaneers on Sunday.
“I think it was pretty good foreshadowing on how he’s handled everything for the next 16 games,” Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday, via team transcript.
Purdy was an efficient and impressive 16-of-21 passing for 185 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 35-7 win over Tampa Bay, earning the first of 10 straight regular-season wins as a starter. Including the playoffs, Purdy is 13-4 as a starter and is coming off a 34-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars that stopped a three-game skid for the Niners and Purdy’s first true run of trying times. He’ll look to start another streak against another Floridian foe.
Obviously, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles is hoping a rematch with Purdy doesn’t end in the same fashion as the first meeting.
“I hope the results are different,” Bowles said Wednesday, via team transcript. “Obviously, they beat us pretty (bad) last year — there are some things we’ve got to change and we learned from. Hopefully that change is for the better.”
Purdy’s had a case of the turnovers during San Francisco’s losing streak, throwing five interceptions in that span. However, his overall season has been an excellent one, as evidenced by his 6-3 record, 2,329 yards and 15 touchdowns to five total INTs.
“He’s a good quarterback, he’s a good football player, he’s a smart football player,” Bowles said. “Kyle plays smart football players. He takes care of the ball, he knows where to go with the football and he can use his feet when he needs to. Other than the other weapons they have, that’s a challenge in itself with him using his feet as well.”
Bowles got the first glimpse of Purdy as a starter and he’ll get a second on Sunday, hoping for a far different end result.
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