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San Francisco 49ers’ Brock Purdy can make NFL history with Week 17 win

San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy has already set NFL records and joined elite lists through just three starts as a professional.

The final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft led San Francisco to a blowout Christmas Eve win over the Washington Commanders on Saturday, its eighth consecutive victory. Purdy, 23, completed 15-of-22 passes for 234 yards with two touchdowns and an interception that bounced off receiver Jauan Jennings’ hands twice before it was picked.

This represented the fourth consecutive solid outing to start Purdy’s career after he replaced an injured Jimmy Garoppolo early in San Francisco’s Week 13 win over the Miami Dolphins. It also has him on the verge of making more history.

According to the 49ers (h/t NBC Sports), a victory Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders in Sin City would make Purdy only the fifth rookie quarterback in NFL history to win each of his first four starts. The list itself is somewhat random.

  • Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (2004)
  • Mike Kruczek, Pittsburgh Steelers (1976)
  • Virgil Carter, Chicago Bears (1968)
  • Phil Simms, New York Giants (1979)

We’re talking about two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks and another two who spent a vast majority of their careers as backups. Either way, it tells us a story of “Mr. Irrelevant” being very much relevant.

Related: Sportsnaut’s Week 17 NFL power rankings

Brock Purdy already in elite company after three career starts

san francisco 49ers qb brock purdy
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

By virtue of his performance against Washington Christmas Eve, Purdy joined Miami Dolphins Hall of Famer Dan Marino as the only quarterback since 1950 with multiple touchdown passes and a triple-digit quarterback rating in each of their first three starts.

Purdy also became the first 49ers quarterback to win his first three NFL starts, besting the likes of Joe Montana and Steve Young in the process. Adding to the resume is the fact that he’s only the fourth quarterback in the past 72 years to throw multiple touchdown passes in his first three starts — joining Dan Marino, Jay Cutler and Marcus Mariota on that list.

“I thought Brock played well, really well. He was smart with the ball. He’s shown that he’s willing to let it rip at all times. There were a couple times in the game that they (Washington Commanders) got an unblocked guy right to him, and he made a couple great decisions just to take the sack. So, I was really impressed with how Brock played just talking to him here the last two days. He got out healthy again and I think that should continue healing up.”

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan on Brock Purdy’s Week 16 performance

There’s random names mixed in with legends of the game here. But as Shanahan noted above, Purdy is playing extremely well right now. He’s not being tasked to do too much on offense.

Related: Brock Purdy and the NFL’s top QBs heading into Week 17

Once that changes when the playoffs get going, it will be interesting to see if he’s able to step up. What we do know is that this past month has been eye-opening for the Iowa State product and the hottest team in the NFL.

Purdy and his 49ers now head to Vegas to take on their former Northern California rivals on New Year’s Day. They are still very much alive for the No. 2 seed in the NFC and aren’t yet mathematically eliminated from earning home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Should Purdy and Co. come out on top as road favorites, he’ll continue to make history.