49ers overreactions: Was front office's Purdy evaluation wrong?

49ers overreactions: Was front office's Purdy evaluation wrong? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The 49ers have two full weeks before they can work toward ending their three-game win streak.

And the 49ers’ fan base has that same amount of time to ruminate about the teams’ myriad of issues. Questions abound about Kyle Shanahan, Steve Wilks and Brock Purdy, and whether they can get things back on track and save the season.

But we’re not interested in answering questions. We like to analyze statements.

And that’s exactly what we do right here in this latest installment of 49ers overreactions:

John and Kyle (and many others) were very wrong with their assessment of Purdy. (His) growing pains are really costing this “win now” team in a substantial way. (Tyler W.)

Overreaction? Yes.

The assessment from general manager John Lynch, coach Kyle Shanahan and everyone else was based on what Brock Purdy showed on and off the field.

Here’s breaking news: There’s never been a perfect quarterback.

Patrick Mahomes, the clear No. 1 quarterback in the NFL, threw two interceptions and had a passer rating of 59.2 in Kansas City’s loss to the lowly Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Let’s note, Purdy is not having a bad season. He still is in a favorable position to represent the NFC in the Pro Bowl.

Brock Purdy’s 9.1 yards per pass attempt is best in the league. And he ranks second with a passer rating of 105.4.

Purdy is one of 21 quarterbacks in the NFL who has thrown five or more interceptions this season. And 11 of those quarterbacks have played at least one fewer game.

That’s the good.

Stay tuned for the bad.

Purdy has thrown five interceptions in the past 10 quarters. And all of his six total turnovers have taken place in the second halves of the past three games — games the 49ers have lost.

He made a rookie-type of mistake with his first interception on Sunday, and that was something we had yet to see.

Purdy set the bar so high for himself because he was so poised and cool under pressure, including in the pressure of the postseason. He has not done enough to win these past three games, for sure. But he’s not alone. The 49ers have had their issues around him offensively, on defense and special teams.

Up until he made those costly mistakes — physical and/or mental — against Minnesota and Cincinnati, he was playing two of his better games.

But timing is everything, and Purdy’s timing with his giveaways has opened the door for statements such as the one we addressed right here.

It was a mistake to start Purdy because of the concussion. (Oliver T.)

Overreaction? I don’t know.

It was clear early in the week Purdy was on track to play against the Bengals.

He took part in a walk-through on Wednesday (something we’d never before heard about a player in concussion protocol). Then, he took part in limited practice Thursday and a full practice Friday.

Purdy’s level of involvement throughout the week would seem to suggest his symptoms were — relatively speaking — minor.

Shanahan’s stance was: If the experts say Purdy could play, then he was not going to overrule the doctors. The 49ers organization handled this as a black-and-white matter: Either he was cleared to play or he was not.

Without being privy to all the information and testing, we have no idea if any errors in judgment were made along the way.

We should have kept Trey Lance. (Rey Adrian C.)

Overreaction? No.

The 49ers traded Lance to the Dallas Cowboys for a fourth-round draft pick in August.

Is it an overreaction to think the 49ers should have held onto him? Of course, not. But we don’t know how realistic that would have been, either.

After all, Lance was devastated when Shanahan informed him Sam Darnold would open the season as the team’s No. 2 quarterback.

Lance expressed his belief that it was in his best interest to get a fresh start elsewhere.

And the 49ers clearly felt it was in their best interest to trade him and go with Purdy, Darnold and Brandon Allen.

We assume the statement that second-guesses the 49ers for not keeping Lance is timed because of Purdy’s recent turnovers.

Please realize there is absolutely zero thought being given toward replacing Purdy. So it’s not as if the 49ers would be considering moving Lance up two spots on the depth chart right now.

It all probably worked out for the better for Lance and the 49ers.

We’re just saying it’s not outlandish to suggest the 49ers should have done everything in their power to kick the can down the road to see if their union with Lance could have worked out.

Shanahan has been exposed. The entire league has him figured out, and if he doesn't adapt his play-calling to the strengths of his personnel our season is over. (Kristopher U.)

Overreaction? Yes.

And, if it’s not an overreaction, what took the NFL so long? After all, Shanahan is halfway through his 16th season as a play-caller.

And we’re not sure there’s much evidence to suggest Shanahan has been exposed coming off a game in which the 49ers had 365 yards passing and the offense rolled up 460 total yards.

Plays have been there to be made over the past three games. And plays will continue to be available for the offensive playmakers.

Now, it’s just a matter of cutting down on mistakes that end drives and scoring chances.

And, of course, it will not hurt Shanahan’s ability to work the offense when Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams get back on the field, either.

We should have never hired an outsider as our DC. (Oscar P-F)

Overreaction? No.

However, again, we do not know all of the inner-workings of that decision.

The next assistant in line for defensive coordinator consideration is probably defensive backs coach Daniel Bullocks.

Steve Wilks was not hired as Carolina’s head coach after getting rave reviews in the interim role. Our guess is Shanahan liked the idea of an experienced coach coming into an existing system and incorporating some of his own ideas.

Everybody seems to still speak highly of Wilks as a coach and mentor. But the results have certainly not been there over the past three games heading into the bye week.

With the remaining schedule left and the way the team is playing as a whole, playoffs are not a lock for this team. (Don T.)

Overreaction? No.

With nine games to play, the playoffs are not a lock for the 49ers. That is 100-percent accurate.

But, also, many of the teams currently behind the 49ers have their own sets of problems.

For instance, the Vikings currently are in the seventh and final playoff spot. They lost quarterback Kirk Cousins for the season with a torn Achilles.

The 49ers (5-3) are a half-game behind the Seattle Seahawks (5-2) and face them in Weeks 12 and 14.

The health and injury conditions of the 49ers and Seahawks on Nov. 23 and Dec. 10 could go a long way toward deciding which team wins the NFC West and which is banished to the hunt for a wild-card spot.

The 49ers remain a favorite to be in the playoffs, but the past three games have shown that there are no guarantees.

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