SANTA CLARA, Calif. — With just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter, the 49ers offense was backed up at the 9-yard line and set up for the game’s seventh drive. The 49ers had yet to score a touchdown in this Dallas defense. That reality was when the Cowboys chose to punt him on fourth and he on fifth in 49ers territory despite giving his 46-yard bomb to receiver Sheedy his ram. emphasized. The score remained tied at 9. Energy permeated Levi’s stadium. We all knew that whatever happened would have a huge impact on the outcome. A seat in the NFC Championship Game was at stake.
And the 49ers huddle animation.
Left guard Aaron Banks was set on fire, yelling, “One play at a time! Gotta get the dirt off! Let’s go!”
Right guard Spencer Burford said, “I’ve never heard Banks talk so much.
Deebo Samuel got everyone together and rallied his army, making sure they all knew it was time to rise up. “We have to do it now.” Fullback Kyle Jusik added to the hype. Everyone was roaring as the TV timeout gave them a chance to feel the increasing urgency. The excitement of the 49ers flocking was pervasive. More than that, a moment of joy. As if you love the weight of the pressure on your back. As if they taste increased intensity. They have averaged 34.6 points over their last seven games, including his 41 in last week’s Wild Card Round, and the Machines team has never come close to his rolling defense. But they weren’t in the best shape, so they had to show up in the crutches.
“We can all look into each other’s eyes,” Juszczyk said. You get a lot of confidence from others because you can see it with their eyes. ”
Sunday also included an eye for Brock Purdy. Nothing was different in the quarterback’s eyes as each player surveyed their teammates in a huddle (a huddle featuring a legend in the making). Even though things didn’t go smoothly on Sunday and the Dallas defense presented a unique challenge to the rookies, Purdy’s eyes were the same ones they saw. Eye.
“It’s crazy when you think about it,” Yushczyk said.
And with No. 13 leading the way, he marched 91 yards for the go-ahead touchdown that ultimately marked the end of the Cowboys’ season. The 49ers advanced to face Philadelphia as he won 19-12. This is because in those 10 plays and his six minutes, the offense finally got to Dallas, gaining at least five yards on each of his first six plays. The drive wasn’t without hardships. They benefited from two Cowboys penalties and a drop interception by Trebon-Diggs on a tipped-purdy pass. But those were the million dollar questions in this divisional round matchup. How will Purdy handle the elite defense? How will he deal when the inevitable postseason adversity hits?
The 49ers have learned that Purdy’s famous poise can handle the difficulty of playoff football.
“Very confident. All the way. It was great,” said George Kittle. “I thought Brock did really well, especially when the early offense wasn’t going well. … Brock wasn’t distraught. It was Purdy. Walk in the huddle, call the play and stream.”
If the 49ers make it to the Super Bowl, he’ll have to do so again, hosted by the NFC’s best team. The weather can be frigid. Enemies become elite. The stakes are even higher. But after Sunday, the 49ers can feel better about Purdy’s ability to handle such odds. Against Dallas, he survived even though he didn’t perform as well as he did against inferior opponents. He had thrown at least his two touchdowns in all of his seven games thus far (his last two games had him three in each). But this one was more difficult. The speed of Dallas’ defense created another problem.
The 49ers focused on running the ball, attacking the Cowboys’ defensive weaknesses. But Dallas looked ready for it, stacking the box and robbing the 49ers of his run game. Then, with a clear pass down, the Cowboys did what they do best – rushing the passersby. Purdy had previously been fired and under pressure. However, his scrambling was all but negated by the Cowboys’ pass rushes and chases. He couldn’t get the ball out fast enough and escaped for his life on several occasions.
He scrambled to the left, like a third-and-goal from the 8th in the first quarter, but was beaten by Cowboys’ Maika Parsons and Osa Odigiswa, and DeMarcus Lawrence charged hard. , had to run to the 20-yard line just to get in position to throw it away.
“Well. That was the stress, wasn’t it?” Kittle said. “Because I was blocking that play and I turned around and said, ‘Why do you still have the ball?’
He almost lost three points in the first half because he held the ball when he burned six seconds before throwing it. At another stadium, the clock may not have stopped when it did, leaving the 49ers with Robbie Gould’s one second left on his goal on the field. Shanahan had to cover his mouth with a playsheet because of what he had to say to the quarterback when Purdy returned to the sidelines.
“I just wanted him to throw it away as soon as possible,” Shanahan said.
But the shining element of Purdy’s performance, his first game without a touchdown pass since replacing Jimmy Garoppolo, was how he gave him no difficulty. He didn’t allow his perfectionism to focus on what went wrong. He did not arouse visible suspicion in his worthy opponents.
Nothing represents a player’s fortitude more than one drawn by adversity.
“As for myself,” Purdy said. I want to take advantage of the third down and finish in the red zone.”…But at the same time, it’s the NFL for him. Doing everything yourself is not easy. I have to do my part for this team, for this team. And everyone does their part. That’s where trust is born. ”
So when it came time for money, he was there with his mates. They’ve been in the big game. they are late. They had their clutch moments. They weathered the postseason storm. Purdy didn’t come until Sunday. But they didn’t understand.
Last week, in his first playoff game against Seattle, Purdy rattled off one play very quickly. Kittle told him to take a deep breath and call the play. Purdy was fine after that. Purdy didn’t need such a reminder on Sunday.
“He’s an impressive guy in the huddle,” said Christian McCaffrey. “No more shocks. Just who he is.
So Purdy was still in his head after McCaffrey ran 7 yards for the first down after a neutral zone violation. The bare bootleg to his left was well covered by Dallas’ defense. Instead of coming back across the field as designed, he improvised up his seams and waved his right hand with his gloves on to get Purdy’s attention.
And Purdy, feeling the immediacy of Dallas’ quickness and getting comfortable, to see the 85 streak upfield with only 302-pound defensive tackle Neville Gallimore chasing him. There was no rush to play. Purdy had missed several open receivers by this point. But it was time for victory, and he didn’t miss this.
“He gave me catch. I was just trying to be dramatic,” Kittle said of the juggling catch. “Just for TV”
It was definitely a play of the game, and Purdy followed it with a perfect throw to McCaffrey on a diagonal route in traffic. defense, but also validated the collective swagger in the pre-drive huddle. They were trying to do this, they were trying to get into the end zone. Whatever it is, as Deebo said.
McCaffrey punches in from 2 yards out. This put Dallas in position for a touchdown against a 49ers defense that found their rhythm. It was control that the home team failed to grab every game. But when the time came, and the fate of the Super Bowl trip was in jeopardy, when the complexity of winning required conquest, their quarterback once again showed he was ready.
“He played a lot today,” Shanahan said. “For the whole offense and the team as a whole, nothing was ever perfect. Just watching them all week I had a feeling it was going to be this type of game.”
And after the game, as their home locker room approached its final thrilling win of the season, Purdy walked past the media and emerged from the shower in a casually cheery mood under uplifting music. rice field. His locker is blocked by gaggle interviewing Dre Greenlaw. So Purdy, a two-win quarterback who’s just one way to become a champion, stopped at the 82nd cubicle. He changed tight at his end Ross in his dowely locker.
He may have someone’s eyes made for this. But he still has the humble rookie disposition.
(Brock Purdy top photo: Michael Owens/Associated Press)