As the 49ers begin their playoff journey Saturday night, tight end George Kittle thinks their battle-tested quarterback is a plus.
I think any time you can have playoff experience, it’s definitely helpful,” Kittle said during the 49ers' bye last week. At my first encounter in 2019, Joe Staley and Richard Sherman informed me you're playing football, but the intensity is different. The attitude and energy are different.”
Purdy has been the 49ers' starting QB for just more than a season, but his 2022 playoff experience gives Kittle and his teammates more confidence. Though not the most experienced in San Francisco's locker room, Purdy has come up ready to play in important games.
Kittle stated, “I expect him to be the same person.” “Be consistent and focused. Purdy never worries me. I'm not worried about his several interceptions in a game. He will recover and play at his usual high level.”
In 2023, Purdy established many 49ers records and led the NFL in various passing categories in 16 regular-season games, but his postseason stats from previous season may be even better. They were until Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Hasson Reddick struck Purdy and tore his throwing arm's ulnar collateral ligament in the 49ers' NFC Championship Game defeat.
In his postseason debut, Purdy completed 18 of 30 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a score in the 49ers' 41-23 wild-card triumph against the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks. The next week, Purdy passed for 214 yards on 19-of-29 in a 19-12 divisional-round win over Dallas.
The playoffs are intense, but Kittle feels his QB is emotionally and physically ready. “There’s a lot more intensity, a lot more anger,” Kittle added. “Every play is more 'do or die'. Even with 100% effort, you play football. You shouldn't go wild and make anything up on the field."
Kittle expects Purdy to be calm, cool, and ready for the limelight this weekend when the 49ers visit the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium.