INGLEWOOD — After Brock Purdy failed to connect with receivers on a few passes in the 49ers’ 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, his tight end George Kittle joked he knows why it happened.
“I think it’s just because he has a really strong elbow and he just kind of sailed a couple,” Kittle said Sunday at SoFi Stadium. “He’ll get back to it. We’re not worried about it. I don’t expect Brock to play perfect. That’s why we have such a great offense and defense around him; he doesn’t have to play perfect. None of us are asking for that, either.”
Purdy’s return from surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow has been well documented, but no one is honestly blaming bionic strength in Purdy’s elbow for the miscues. Coach Kyle Shanahan believes that otherwise, his quarterback had a solid performance.
“I do think Brock had a hell of a game,” Shanahan said via conference call Monday. “It’s really the only thing I feel like we can say negative about his game are those three misses, which are big ones, especially when they’re down the field because it’s usually points, but he played 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 tapped as the starting quarterback for the club that the Iowa State product did not record a passing touchdown, but more importantly, Purdy did not turn the ball over.
Kittle is not worried about his younger teammate, knowing the 23-year-old has a supporting cast that is there to give an assist when things might not go exactly to plan. The All-Pro tight end believes Purdy’s maturity is a key to the offense remaining productive when facing adversity.
“You want him to make every single throw. If he doesn’t, it’s OK,” Kittle said. “We have a good enough team to make up for that kind of stuff. He’s consistent, never gets too high, never gets too low. He has great celebrations when he makes great plays, and doesn’t get too hard on himself, as he should.
“We are a good team, and we can pick him up if we need to.”
Purdy uncharacteristically missed on passes to Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings in the Sunday contest, but all of the receivers spoke out in support of their teammate. They believe they will only continue to build chemistry as they get more time together on the field.
The most important part of Sunday’s divisional matchup was leaving Southern California with a win.
“He was rocking,” Aiyuk said of Purdy on Sunday. “He got us going and he got us out of there. He’s the leader of this team. He got the offense going, and put points on the board to close out this game.”