There are so many storylines between the Jalen Hurts vs. Brock Purdy main event matchup this Sunday in the NFC championship matchup. This game could be historic for many reasons for the NFL and the two storied franchises of the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles. The biggest stories surround the two starting quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy, whom to most would be unlikely to get this far a the beginning of the season.
Brock Purdy has been the story of the NFL since the 49ers lost their two starting quarterbacks earlier this year. As everyone has heard, he was the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft in the 7th round at 262nd overall. Purdy scored four total touchdowns, and the 49ers scored 41 points on the NFC West-rival Seahawks in the 2022 Wild Card game. Brock became the first rookie in NFL history with four touchdowns in a playoff game. There are only three other QBs with 300 or more pass yards and four-plus offensive touchdowns in their first playoff game. This includes Super Bowl champions Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, and Kurt Warner. The Seahawks game was Purdy’s seventh straight game with multiple pass touchdowns, including playoffs, tied with Justin Herbert for the longest streak by a rookie in NFL history.
Mr. Irrelevant continued to turn heads throughout the regular season. In nine regular-season games for the 49ers, he has a completion percentage of 67.1, tallying up 1374 yards, with 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions. All the while keeping the 49ers undefeated during his stretch as the starting quarterback. No matter how it ends, his story will be one for the ages.
If Brock Purdy is “Mr. Irrelevant,” Jalen Hurts should be “The MVP That Should.” Everyone, locally and nationally, knows what kind of growth this 24-year-old man has undergone. The most significant question people had coming into this season was, “Can Jalen Hurts become a franchise quarterback”? Well, the question was answered with a resounding YES! He led Philly to a franchise-best 14-3 record. He helped other players set franchise and personal records.
During their undefeated streak, people continued to question, “Is it Hurts or the system?” The question was answered unconventionally. After Jalen was injured in the Chicago Bears game during their week 15 matchup, the team looked lost. Gardner Minshew commanded the offense well against the Cowboys, but the defense came up short on Christmas eve. The offense could not get out of their own way the following week against the New Orleans Saints. Jalen had to play the New York Giants in the final game of the regular season to secure the #1 overall seed in the NFC.
Jalen Hurts’ 2022 campaign was MVP caliber by far, but injury most likely took him out of that race. He played in 15 games with a 66.5 completion percentage totaling 3701 yards, twenty-two touchdowns, and only six interceptions.
Hurts vs. Purdy History
This Sunday will not be the first time these two young QBs squared off. Purdy’s Iowa State and Hurts’ Oklahoma teams played a high-scoring, down-to-the-wire game during the 2019 college football season. Hurts’ Sooners were a Top 10 team playing at home and heavily favored. Oklahoma ran out of the gates with a 35-14 lead at halftime. Hurts threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more touchdowns in the first half.
Purdy did not go quietly into the night. He had five passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Brock took over in the fourth quarter, with Iowa State scoring three touchdowns. The score was 42-41 with 24 seconds left. Iowa State went for two, but Purdy’s pass was intercepted, and Oklahoma survived with the 42-41 win.
NFC Divisional Matchup Comparison
Brock Purdy probably did not have the most significant game by the numbers compared to Hurts last weekend. There were times Sunday when Purdy looked like a rookie signal caller. At times he was trying to survive in a tough playoff matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. Purdy played well enough at the right time. He guides the San Francisco 49ers to the NFC title game. Purdy finished Sunday’s divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys with 214 yards on 19-for-29 passing with no touchdowns but no turnovers. The Cowboys, by far, were the most formidable opponent he had all season yet.
On the other side, Hurts and the Eagles made life hell for the New York Giants for the third time this season. This was a masterpiece performance by Hurts. He was in complete control, making all the right decisions, delivering the ball accurately, and commanding the offense perfectly.
A Championship Game To Remember
If anybody had any doubts about whether that shoulder was still bothering him or whether he’d be 100 percent, they were quickly answered. A 40-yarder to DeVonta Smith on his first pass, 7-for-7 with TD passes to Dallas Goedert and Smith in the first quarter. The game was over before the second quarter. Hurts added a touchdown run in the second quarter. Jalen finished 16-for-24 for 154 yards and a beefy 112.2 passer rating.
This is the 4th-highest in franchise history behind Rodney Peete vs. the Lions in 1995, Nick Foles against the Vikings in 2017, and Tommy Thompson against the Steelers in 1947, per Reuben Frank of NBC Sports. He is the youngest QB in franchise history to reach the NFC Championship Game. This weekend he’ll try to become only the eighth QB in history to take a team to the Super Bowl before his 25th birthday. In other words, this NFC Championship game with Jalen Hurts vs. Brock Purdy is set up to be a memorable one.
Al is one of the two co-creators of Edge of Philly Sports. Al started radio and podcasting in 2012 and covering sports in 2015. A lifelong Philly sports fan since watching the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers with his grandfathers at age 7. Al always looks at the other side of the hot topics and gives his different outlook on those topics. Web and Graphic Design.