Brock Purdy stats: 49ers QB engineers second-half comeback vs. Lions in NFC championship game

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From Mr. Irrelevant to Super Bowl starting quarterback, Brock Purdy had to make some magic happen to lead the 49ers’ comeback over the Lions in the NFC championship game.

San Francisco trailed by 17 points at the half and looked lifeless, as the Lions’ offense effortlessly moved the ball against its defense. The 49ers offense hadn’t been much better, and Purdy’s first two quarters were not going to get the job done.

He had one bad interception that immediately proved costly, leading to a Lions’ touchdown to push the lead to 14 in the second quarter. It was one of a couple of passes that could have easily been picked off, as San Francisco’s quarterback looked stunned by the spotlight.

Purdy only completed seven of his 15 pass attempts for 93 yards and an interception, owning a 39.0 QB rating at halftime.

Receiving to start the second half, the 49ers desperately needed Purdy to return to the player who was in MVP conversations late into the season if they wanted to spark a comeback.

And he did.

MORE: Super Bowl 58: 49ers vs. Chiefs odds, predictions and more to know

For more on Purdy’s second-half turnaround, The Sporting News takes a closer look below.

Brock Purdy stats: Inside 49ers QB’s performance in second-half comeback

A scoreless drive to start the second half could have been enough for the Lions to twist the knife in the 49ers’ Super Bowl hopes. Purdy helped keep their heart beating with a clutch conversion on 3rd-and-4 when Jauan Jennings made a crazy catch after his QB went off-script.

The drive only resulted in three points, but it was enough to give San Francisco life, cutting Detroit’s lead to two scores.

The 49ers got the ball back after a Lions turnover on downs on the ensuing possession, and Purdy wasted no time to try and make a big play. He took a deep shot to star WR Brandon Aiyuk, and even though the ball was overthrown and could have been picked off, luck was on San Francisco’s side. Aiyuk hauled the ball in after it bounced off of Lions corner Kindle Vildor’s facemask, taking the 49ers inside the five-yard line.

MORE: Brandon Aiyuk credits lucky ladybug for circus catch in NFC championship

Two plays later, Purdy delivered a strike to Aiyuk on a slant route for a touchdown to bring San Francisco within seven.

The Lions fumbled on the first play of the following drive and now, the 49ers had all the momentum. Feeding off the energy, Purdy improvised when the pocket started collapsing around him, scrambling for a pivotal 21-yard gain to bring San Francisco inside the five-yard line again. Christian McCaffrey punched in a touchdown two plays later and all of a sudden, it was a tied game.

This became a trend in the second half as Purdy — who isn’t typically known as a runner — continuously gashed the Lions’ defense with his feet. He was spraying the ball all over the field, connecting on passes to Aiyuk, McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Kyle Jusczcyk, but some of his most back-breaking plays came on the run.

On the 49ers’ final touchdown drive that capped off 27 unanswered points, Purdy’s most clutch play came on another scramble.

Leading 27-24, facing 3rd & 4 at midfield, the Lions needed a stop to regain momentum. Detroit’s four-man rush surrounded Purdy in the pocket, but the 49ers’ QB squeaked free to pick up 21 yards on the ground. The big play eventually teed up a San Francisco touchdown to take an insurmountable 10-point lead late in the game.

It was a tale of two halves for Purdy, who finished the game with 267 passing yards, 48 rushing yards, one touchdown, and one interception while completing 20 of his 31 pass attempts.

After a silent first half, the 49ers quarterback came up clutch in engineering a 17-point comeback to punch San Francisco’s ticket to Super Bowl 58.

Brock Purdy 40 time

Purdy’s 48 rushing yards may not seem like much, but, for comparison, Lamar Jackson only finished with 54 yards in the Ravens’ loss to the Chiefs in the AFC championship game.

The key moments in which Purdy’s big runs came made it feel like he was dashing all over the Lions’ defense. His scrambling had people wondering just how fast the 49ers quarterback is.

At the 2022 NFL Combine, Purdy ran a 4.84 40-yard dash.

Compared to his Championship Sunday peers, Jackson ran an unofficial 4.34, Patrick Mahomes ran a 4.80, and Jared Goff ran a 4.82.

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