Mr. Irrelevant becomes Mr. Relevant

Kibree Hathorn, Staff Reporter

The San Francisco 49ers made it to the NFC Championship for the third time in the last four seasons, which represents half of all NFC Championship appearances over the past dozen years. Despite a tough loss to Philadelphia in the NFC Championship, the 49ers had an impressive season bouncing back from adversity. With the league’s top defense, they ended the year with a 13-4 record and an 11-game winning streak.

The 49ers are still nursing the wounds from their loss to the Eagles, having suffered injuries to not one but two quarterbacks, forcing them to continually change their offensive approach. Despite these challenges, the defense attempted to maintain the game’s competitiveness. RB Christian McCaffrey’s powerful run, breaking multiple tackles for a touchdown, was the sole source of the 49ers’ 7 points in that match. Looking back at the season, the quarterback position was never set in stone and was arguably one major weakness of the 49ers.

This season they went through four quarterbacks, including Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, who both suffered injuries earlier this season. With Brock Purdy being tasked with filling in after Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury against the Miami Dolphins. Despite being relatively inexperienced, Purdy has stepped up and performed admirably in the position of a veteran quarterback. The 49ers rookie quarterback had a standout performance in the 41-23 NFC wild-card victory over the Seahawks.

He made history by becoming the first rookie QB to score four total touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing) in a playoff game after completing 18 of 30 passes for 332 yards. “I was proud of how they fought,” Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said in a post-game interview with NBC sports “They got dealt a tough hand. I hurt for these guys. We felt really good about this game. It was tough circumstances. I’m really proud of them.”

Despite facing many challenges, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy earned the title of offensive rookie of the year. Until Brock Purdy recovers from a torn UCL, the 49ers quarterback position appears to be a competition between him and Trey Lance. However, based on Purdy’s performance this season, it’s quite likely that he will continue to improve and potentially secure the QB1 position next year.