San Francisco 49ers superstar running back Christian McCaffrey left little doubt during his Super Bowl LVIII media availability on Wednesday that he views quarterback Brock Purdy as much more than a “game manager” heading into this Sunday’s showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“He’s the leader of this team,” McCaffrey said about Purdy, as shared by David Bonilla of 49ers WebZone. “Everything starts with him. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with, and to be able to do it just in his second year, I think, what he’s done, if you look at the numbers, and you didn’t put his name at it, you would be in awe.”
According to ESPN stats, Purdy ended his second pro regular season leading the NFL with a 72.7 adjusted QBR (tied with Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys), a 113.0 passer rating and an average of 9.6 yards per pass attempt. The 24-year-old was fifth with 4,280 passing yards, third with 31 touchdowns through the air and fourth with a 69.4% completion percentage.
Across San Francisco’s two playoff contests, Purdy engineered a late game-winning drive versus the Green Bay Packers before he torched the Detroit Lions in the second half of the NFC Championship. Nevertheless, some continue to force a “game manager” label on the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft who suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in January 2023 but is now a win away from football immortality.
“And then I think you add the fact that he was the last pick of the draft, you add the fact that I think people forget he rehabbed an elbow the whole entire offseason,” McCaffrey said about his QB1. “He didn’t get to throw until training camp, and now he’s a quarterback in the Super Bowl in his second year in the NFL. I look back to my second year in the NFL, and if I had the success that he had, that’s special. And I think it’s only up from here, and I’m just happy, and we’re lucky he’s on our team.”
DraftKings Sportsbook has consistently listed the 49ers as two-point favorites against the Chiefs. As of late Thursday morning, that outlet had Purdy second among the betting favorites behind only Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes (+125) at +235 odds to earn Super Bowl Most Valuable Player honors.