The Super Bowl hopes of the San Francisco 49ers rest on the shoulders of the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Brock Purdy, referred to as “Mr. Irrelevant” as are all final picks of the draft, will be under center for the remainder of the regular season as Jimmy Garoppolo attempts to recover from a broken foot in time for the Niners’ playoff run.
Purdy played well in replacement of Garoppolo against the Miami Dolphins, completing 25 of 37 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in the 49ers’ 33-17 win.
With the best defense in the NFL and an offense built around the running game, the Niners are hopeful that the dropoff from Garoppolo to Purdy is not too steep.
One Niners legend still thinks San Francisco can win a Super Bowl, even with “Mr. Irrelevant” steering the ship.
“You know what, if he does what he did last week, yeah,” Joe Montana told USA Today Sports when asked if the 49ers can win a Super Bowl with Purdy as the quarterback.
“As he becomes a starter at this point in time, he just has to not try to overthink things,’’ Montana said. “Just go in, and you don’t have to make plays. You’ve got guys on the outside that can make plays. So just relax.”
The quarterback room in San Francisco has been hit hard this season, with Trey Lance done for the year after just two weeks as the starter after suffering a broken ankle.
However, the offense under Kyle Shanahan has always leaned on the rushing attack, and coupled with a solid defense, Montana likes the Niners’ chances.
“‘Mr. Irrelevant’ was pretty relevant last weekend,” Montana told USA Today Sports. “I think they’ve got a chance. I mean, their defense is playing well. When you’ve got a good defense, you can make (up for) a lot of mistakes on offense and those guys have a tendency to make it up for you.’’
Purdy certainly will not be hurting to find weapons, as Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle can make an average quarterback look special.
“Don’t put the young guy in a position where he has to feel like, “Oh, I got to force one,’” Montana said. “Let him punt the ball, especially early. Just get himself in a rhythm and that offense does that for you.
“I mean, heck, you got McCaffrey and Kittle and Deebo, and that receiving corps is pretty good.’’
The 49ers are 8-4 and in first place in the NFC West as they prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14.