Brock Purdy, a rookie QB for San Francisco, keeps creating NFL history.
Brock Purdy continues to write history.
Back in October, Kyle Shanahan benched starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in favour of rookie Brock Purdy as the San Francisco 49ers trailed the Kansas City Chiefs late in the contest.
The rookie became the first Mr. Irrelevant to complete a pass in an NFL regular season game when he made a catch.
Then, last week, Purdy entered the game and delivered a touchdown pass after Garoppolo sustained a foot injury against the Miami Dolphins. As a result, he created NFL history by becoming the first Mr. Irrelevant to ever throw a touchdown pass.
Purdy started his first NFL game on Sunday. Once more, it was Tom Brady who Purdy’s family wished they could see in person. Purdy’s family purchased tickets to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weeks ago in the hopes of watching Brady play in person, as Adam Schefter of ESPN reported before the game.
They were now able to witness their son’s debut in the NFL.
And, as luck would have it, Purdy defeated the living legend. The rookie quarterback completed 16 of his 21 throws for 185 yards and two touchdowns while throwing no interceptions as the 49ers humiliated the Buccaneers 35-7 in the final score. In one of his worst defeats, Brady laboured, completing just 34 of 55 passes for 253 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Purdy’s record was furthered by the victory in San Francisco.
How did the win make history? because Purdy won his first start versus Brady to become the only quarterback in NFL history to do so. Six other NFL quarterbacks started their first game against Brady on Sunday before Purdy.
The “Brady Challenge” was originally attempted by Luke McCown in 2004 while playing for the Cleveland Browns. 20 of his 34 passes were completed for 277 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
The final score between the Browns and the New England Patriots was 42-15.
Next up? Matt Flynn playing for the Green Bay Packers in 2010. The closest was probably Flynn, who completed 24 of 37 throws for 251 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. By a score of 31-27, the Patriots defeated Green Bay by a razor-thin margin.
Dan Connolly, an offensive lineman, may be best remembered for this kickoff return from that game:
The following year, quarterback Tyler Palko of the Kansas City Chiefs was the next to try the “Brady Challenge.” 230 yards and 24 of his 37 throws were completed, but he also threw 3 interceptions.
The final score for Kansas City was 34–3.
In the first game of the 2012 campaign, New England faced the Tennessee Titans. Jake Locker, who was selected by Tennessee in the first round the season before, made his first start in the NFL at that time as well. Despite only seeing relieving work during his rookie season, Locker defeated veteran Matt Hasselbeck to win the starting job in 2012.
Locker struggled as he completed just 23 of his 32 throws for 229 yards, one score, and one interception. The final score was 34-13 in Tennessee’s favour.
2013 began with Brady and the Patriots playing a quarterback making his first career start. This time, it was rookie E.J. Manuel, selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. With only five seconds remaining, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski made a 35-yard field goal to give Brady and the Bills a scare, but they ultimately lost 23-21.
Manuel completed 18 of 27 throws for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the losing effort, which was a strong performance for a rookie quarterback against Brady and a Bill Belichick defence.
Luke Falk, who started against Brady in 2019, was the most recent quarterback to do it. By a final score of 30-14, the Patriots trounced Falk and the New York Jets. In that setback, as a rookie, Falk completed just 12 of 22 passes for 98 yards and one interception.
Let’s go ahead to Sunday. Noteworthy stats include Purdy completing 16 of his 21 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. With that, the NFL Passer Rating was a respectable 134.0. Of the seven quarterbacks who made their NFL debuts against Brady, that makes it the best NFL Passer Rating.
Mr. Irrelevant never ceases to make history.
Could the next play in playoff history?