Forty-five-year-old, and seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Tom Brady goes up against 22-year-old rookie Brock Purdy on Sunday

Brady vs Purdy: The GOAT goes up against 'Mr. Irrelevant'



Forty-five-year-old, and seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Tom Brady goes up against 22-year-old rookie Brock Purdy on Sunday

Sunday sees arguably the most contrasting quarterback matchup of all time, as the GOAT meets ‘Mr. Irrelevant’.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has earned his title due to his NFL-record seven Super Bowl wins, while rookie Brock Purdy’s back-handed title came courtesy of being selected with the very final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.

Brady is also 45 years old, with Purdy just 22 and making his first career start after the likely season-ending injury to Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo last weekend. Brady is 6-0 versus quarterbacks in their first NFL start, while the age difference of 22 years and 146 days is the largest between opposing QBs in any game since the stat was first tracked in 1950.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and rookie quarterback Brock Purdy discuss Jimmy Garoppolo's season-ending injury

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and rookie quarterback Brock Purdy discuss Jimmy Garoppolo’s season-ending injury

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and rookie quarterback Brock Purdy discuss Jimmy Garoppolo’s season-ending injury

Who is Brock Purdy?

Purdy arrived in San Francisco this year as a four-year starter out of college at Iowa State but also as an unheralded prospect due to just ‘average arm strength’, a ‘laboured release’ and ‘confidence and consistency issues’, according to his draft report.

It all contributed to him not being taken till the 262nd selection in the seventh round, the final pick of the 2022 Draft – and, therefore, earn ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ honours, the nickname given to last player picked in each year’s draft since 1976, when former 49ers receiver Paul Salata began honouring that person with an event in Newport Beach, California, dubbed ‘Irrelevant Week’.

But Purdy was anything but irrelevant last Sunday. The third-string quarterback to start the season in San Francisco came in during the first half of their Week 13 game with the Miami Dolphins, and with the team trailing 7-3.

He immediately led them on a 54-yard scoring drive, capped with a touchdown pass to Kyle Juszczyk, and then added another 76-yard TD drive just before the half – this one ended with a scoring strike to Christian McCaffrey – to give the Niners a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Brian Baldinger was impressed by what he saw from San Francisco 49ers rookie QB Brock Purdy, saying his performance in the win over the Miami Dolphins as 'exceptional'

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Brian Baldinger was impressed by what he saw from San Francisco 49ers rookie QB Brock Purdy, saying his performance in the win over the Miami Dolphins as ‘exceptional’

Brian Baldinger was impressed by what he saw from San Francisco 49ers rookie QB Brock Purdy, saying his performance in the win over the Miami Dolphins as ‘exceptional’

“Brock came in and made some big plays,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the win. “He’s got some balls out there, forgive me for saying it that way.”

Purdy finished 25-of-37 passing, for 210 yards, those two TDs and one interception, leading former NFL quarterback Chris Simms to be similarly impressed with what he saw.

“I was blown away by the way Purdy played in that game,” Simms said on NBC’s Pro Football Talk (Sky Sports NFL, weekdays, 6pm). “That was about as tough a situation you could put a backup quarterback in – let alone a rookie backup QB.

“I was very impressed. And they’re certainly a team I wouldn’t count out here. The Niners will still be a dangerous team down the stretch.”

Can Purdy be the next Brady?

While, as already pointed out, there is a great deal that separates Purdy and Brady as they prepare to clash on Sunday night, they do also have one notable thing in common: Brady too was unfancied by most NFL teams out of college.

Live NFL

December 11, 2022, 9:15pm

Live on

Brady’s scouting report ahead of the 2000 NFL Draft – when Purdy was just four months old – read: “Poor build, Skinny, Lacks great physical stature and strength, Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush, Lacks a really strong arm, Can’t drive the ball downfield, Does not throw a really tight spiral, System-type player who can get exposed if forced to ad lib, Gets knocked down easily.”

It all contributed to Brady dropping down the draft all the way to the sixth round and the 199th overall pick until being picked up by the New England Patriots, where he’d win the first six of his record haul of Vince Lombardi trophies.

“Wouldn’t it be something if this guy becomes the next generation’s Tom Brady?,” Mike Florio remarked on Pro Football Talk this week. “The lowly drafted player who develops into a starter and is pretty damn good.”

That could well be a stretch. But Purdy certainly is already in rather unchartered territory. Since the draft moved to seven rounds in 1994, no quarterback selected in the final round has started a playoff game as a rookie and, with the 49ers currently sitting pretty at 8-4 on the season and in possession of the No 3 seed in the NFC, Purdy could well be the first.

Only six seventh-round signal-callers have even appeared in a playoff game, full stop, during this time period (Jay Walker, Gus Frerotte, Matt Cassel, Koy Detmer, Jarious Jackson and Matt Flynn), while perhaps the most famous seventh-rounder of all, the recently-retired Ryan Fitzpatrick (34,990 passing yards and 223 career TDs), never appeared in a postseason game.

Purdy is on track to make history.

Are Brady and the Bucs back?

As for Brady and the Bucs, a postseason spot is still not assured after a dreadfully challenging campaign in which they at one stage slipped to 3-5 after five defeats in six, before rectifying the ship somewhat in recent weeks with three wins in four.

The latest of those was a 17-16 success over the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football last week, with Brady producing some trademark late magic with two touchdown passes inside the final three minutes to stun their NFC South rivals.

A look at how Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes inside the final three minutes in a stunning comeback win over the New Orleans Saints

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

A look at how Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes inside the final three minutes in a stunning comeback win over the New Orleans Saints

A look at how Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes inside the final three minutes in a stunning comeback win over the New Orleans Saints

The Bucs had been held scoreless since taking the lead with a field goal on their opening drive. Trailing 16-3 with little more than five minutes left, Brady – who completed 36 of 54 passes for 281 yards on the night – first tossed a TD to Cade Otton from down near the goal line to cap a 10-play, 91-yard drive.

The Saints swiftly punted the ball back to Tampa with two minutes and 29 seconds still on the clock after going three-and-out on offense and, starting from his own 37-yard line, Brady engineered an NFL-record 44th comeback victory in the fourth quarter or overtime, breaking a tie with Peyton Manning.

Highlights of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the New Orleans Saints from Week 13 of the NFL season

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the New Orleans Saints from Week 13 of the NFL season

Highlights of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the New Orleans Saints from Week 13 of the NFL season

The win moved the Bucs (6-6) back to .500 on the season and strengthened their grasp on the lowly NFC South division… while also serving as a reminder that while Brady’s talents have diminished somewhat with age, he and the Buccaneers – Super Bowl champions just two years ago – are not to be counted out.

If Brady holds the ball late, look out!

Brady faces fearsome Niners defense

That being said, the win over the Saints was still an otherwise underwhelming performance by a Tampa Bay offense which has consistently struggled this season, racked in the bottom five of the league (27th).

A look at some of the biggest blunders from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense this season

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

A look at some of the biggest blunders from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense this season

A look at some of the biggest blunders from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense this season

The Buccaneers have scored 22 or fewer points in each of their last eight games – the longest such streak by any team with Brady at QB, with the previous high mark being only five games with the Patriots in 2019 – and have only topped 22 once at all this season, back in Week Four against the Kansas City Chiefs.

And they now face the hugely daunting prospect of a road game in San Francisco against the 49ers’ No 1 ranked defense, which leads the league in scoring (15.8 points per game allowed), total yards (283.9 allowed), and rushing (75.6 yards per game).

Highlights of the Miami Dolphins against the San Francisco 49ers from Week 13 of the NFL season

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Miami Dolphins against the San Francisco 49ers from Week 13 of the NFL season

Highlights of the Miami Dolphins against the San Francisco 49ers from Week 13 of the NFL season

NFL columnist Peter King said on Pro Football Talk this week: “We all look at Monday night and say, ‘never count Brady out, great in the fourth quarter – they are this never-say-die team’. Let’s forget all of that for a minute.

“The Buccaneers in their last seven games are averaging 16 points per game. Their offense, with all due respect to Brady – who is basically keeping them afloat – now plays the best defense in football.

“If they score in the 20s, it’s a Christmas miracle for the Bucs.”

Simms concurs. “This is a crazy statement, but I’m more worried about Tom Brady than I am Brock Purdy in this game!”

You couldn’t get two more contrasting QBs lining up against each other on Sunday. Purdy had just turned two years old when Brady won his first Super Bowl title… but the rookie – combined with a fearsome defense – could well deliver a crushing blow to the future Hall of Famer’s hopes of claiming an eighth.

Watch Tom Brady and Brock Purdy go head to head as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the San Francisco 49ers, live on Sky Sports NFL, as part of the Sunday night triple-header which gets under way from 5pm; kick-off at 9.25pm





Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top