49ers’ Brock Purdy delivers homecoming gem vs. Cardinals

Dec 17, 2023, 5:12 PM | Updated: 10:24 pm

Brock Purdy...

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy threw four touchdown passes against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on Sunday, December 17, in Glendale. (Arizona Sports Photo/Felisa Cardenas)

(Arizona Sports Photo/Felisa Cardenas)

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy looked comfortable back in his home state of Arizona on Sunday, as he threw four touchdown passes against the Cardinals in a 45-29 victory.

Sunday was Purdy’s first NFL start at State Farm Stadium and third start against the Cardinals (3-11). The former Perry High School quarterback is now 3-0 in the matchup, including a 35-16 win in Week 4 this season.

Purdy hit receiver Deebo Samuel for a 12-yard touchdown pass on San Francisco’s (11-3) first offensive drive, and his next two touchdown tosses went to running back Christian McCaffrey.

The second of which required some maneuverability, as he escaped the pressure by rolling out to his left and hitting a wide-open McCaffrey down the field. The running back fell after making the catch but got up and raced to the goal line.

McCaffrey came up with 187 scrimmage yards and three total touchdowns on Sunday, becoming the first 49ers player with seven touchdowns against one opponent in a season.

Purdy’s throw of the day came in the fourth quarter, as he hit Samuel’s back shoulder on a 19-yard dime to the end zone. Antonio Hamilton Sr. was in tight coverage and Purdy threw the ball to where only Samuel could corral it. Samuel made a heck of an adjustment to the ball, as well.

Purdy completed 16-for-25 passes for 242 yards and an elite quarterback rating of 135.3.

He left the game for a handful of plays in the second quarter with a stinger after taking a shot from Cardinals edge rusher Dennis Gardeck, but he returned and delivered his second touchdown pass on the same drive.

The Cardinals hung around with the 49ers in the first half, trailing 21-13 at the break. Arizona found some success running the ball for 234 yards, but the defense could not string together stops. The 49ers scored on six of eight possessions, excluding the end of the first half and the kneel downs at the end of the game.

Purdy was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Iowa State and took over as San Francisco’s starter for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers rolled into 2023 with Purdy as QB1, and he is in the thick of the MVP race with the 49ers atop the NFC.

The 49ers clinched the NFC West crown with Sunday’s win, while the Cardinals made up ground in the race for the No. 1 overall pick with the Carolina Panthers winning (2-12).

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