INGLEWOOD — After Brock Purdy failed to connect with receivers on several passes in the 49ers’ 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, George Kittle joked that he knew why it happened.
“I think it’s just because he has a really strong elbow and he was kind of sailing,” Kittle said Sunday at SoFi Stadium. “He’ll get back to it.” We are not afraid of it. I don’t expect Brock to play perfectly. That’s why we have such a great offense and defense around him; it doesn’t have to play perfectly. Neither of us is asking for it.”
Purdy’s comeback from ulnar collateral ligament surgery in his pitching elbow has been well documented, but no one honestly blames the bionic power in Purdy’s elbow for the mistakes. Coach Kyle Shanahan believes his quarterback otherwise had a solid performance.
“I think Brock had a heck of a game,” Shanahan said on Monday’s conference call. “That’s really the only negative thing we can say about his game is those three mistakes, which are big, especially when they’re down the field because they’re usually points, but he had a pretty good game.”
Purdy finished the game completing 17 of his 25 attempts for 206 yards and a rushing touchdown, giving him a 93.1 passer rating. It was the first game since being installed as the club’s starting quarterback that the Iowa State product didn’t record a pass, but more importantly, Purdy didn’t turn the ball over.
Kittle isn’t worried about his younger teammate, knowing the 23-year-old has a supporting cast to help him when things don’t go exactly as planned. The All-Pro tight end believes Purdy’s maturity is key to keeping the offense productive when faced with adversity.
“You want him to make every single throw. If not, that’s OK,” Kittle said. “We have a good enough team to make up for it. He is consistent, never gets too high, never too low. He has big celebrations when he makes great plays and doesn’t push himself like he should.
“We’re a good team and we can pick it up when we need to.
Purdy uncharacteristically dropped passes to Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings in Sunday’s game, but all of the receivers spoke in support of their teammate. He believes they will only continue to build chemistry as they get more time together on the field.
The most important part of Sunday’s divisional game was leaving Southern California with a win.
“He was swinging,” Aiyuk said of Purdy on Sunday. “He got us and got us out of there. He is the leader of this team. He got the offense going and put points on the board to close out the game.”