INGLEWOOD — After Brock Purdy failed to connect with receivers on a pair of passes in the 49ers’ 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, his tight end George Kittle joked that he knows why it happened.
“I think it’s just because he’s got a really strong elbow and he just sailed a couple,” Kittle said Sunday at SoFi Stadium. “He’ll get back to it. We’re not worried about that. 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. Neither us who ask for.”
Purdy’s return from surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow has been well documented, but no one honestly blames the bionic strength of Purdy’s elbow for the failures. Coach Kyle Shanahan believes his quarterback otherwise had a solid performance.
“I think Brock had a heck of a game,” Shanahan said via conference call Monday. “That’s really the only thing I feel like we can say negative about his game is the three misses, which are big, especially when they’re down court because they’re 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 drafted as the club’s starting quarterback that the Iowa State product didn’t record a passing touchdown, but more importantly, Purdy didn’t turn the ball over.
Kittle isn’t worried about his younger teammate, knowing the 23-year-old has a supporting cast that’s there to lend an assist when things might not go quite to plan. The All-Pro tight end believes Purdy’s maturity is key to the offense remaining productive when faced with adversity.
“You want him to make every throw. If he doesn’t, that’s OK,” Kittle said. “We have a good enough team to make up for that kind of thing. He is consistent, never gets too high, never gets too low. He has big celebrations when he makes big plays and he doesn’t get too hard on himself like he should.
“We are a good team and we can bring him in if we need to.”
Purdy uncharacteristically missed passes to Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings in Sunday’s contest, but all of the receivers spoke 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 game was leaving Southern California with a win.
“He rocked,” 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.”