Former Iowa State QB Leads Big Win in Emergence As NFL Starter
On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins by a score of 33-17, and they did it behind the arm of a former Iowa State quarterback who came into the season being referred to as "Mr. Irrelevant".
That's the moniker given by some "experts" to the very last player chosen in the NFL draft. That person this year was Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy, who got his first big chance to shine a little earlier than expected. After first-string quarterback, Trey Lance suffered what has now likely become a season-ending ankle injury, Jimmy Garappolo returned as the starter. Suddenly, Garappolo himself is out for the remainder of the season with a foot injury sustained on Sunday.
The former Cyclone from Gilbert, Arizona stepped in and made the most of his biggest moment. He batted clean-up in Week 7 against the Chiefs in a 44-23 loss, but this was Purdy's first time seeing any significant or lengthy action.
According to NBC Sports, Purdy completed 25 of 37 passes, for 210 yards. He threw two touchdown passes and was intercepted once. You won't hear his coach Kyle Shanahan or any of his teammates call Purdy "irrelevant". Even better, one of his targets was a former Iowa Hawkeye. Per Yahoo! News:
He made a couple of nice throws to tight end George Kittle to convert third downs, and he relied heavily on running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
Kittle, for his part, had high praise for his teammate under center:
He’s just got confidence,” Kittle said. “You can feel it. He’s not shy. He’s kind of quiet sometimes but there’s no timidness to him. When your quarterback is confident, you feel confident. If you’re not confident, guys feel that. But he was in there ready to sling it
This could be an exciting remainder of the season to see this Cy-Hawk tandem working together with recently acquired Christian McCaffery, a former Carolina Panther running back who's now also a strong target for Purdy.