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King applauds Purdy for going ‘toe-to-toe' with Mahomes

King applauds Purdy for going ‘toe-to-toe' with Mahomes originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Brock Purdy delivered a valiant effort in the 49ers' crushing overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium.

While San Francisco came short of its ultimate goal, NBC Sports' Peter King was extremely impressed with how the 24-year-old quarterback handled himself on the sport's biggest stage.

"This was a fascinating game, for many reasons. I'll start with San Francisco," King wrote in his "Football Morning in America" column. "The other day, at Kansas City practice, CBS' Tony Romo was on hand to scout KC. We got to talking about Brock Purdy.

"Romo likes him a lot, but he did say, 'It's hard to know how a guy responds to playing in the Super Bowl until he plays in one. Lots of times in Super Bowls, right at kickoff, players try to get some saliva in their mouths, and it's not there.'

King highlighted Purdy's exceptional poise on the Super Bowl stage, referencing a pair of deep completions in the first half before taking a shot at the detractors who have diminished the 24-year-old's play with a "game manager" label.

"Purdy had his saliva, apparently," King said. "In a one-minute span late in the first quarter, he threw a pass to Chris Conley, 32 yards in the air, per Next Gen Stats, for a gain of 18. A 19-yard strike to Ray-Ray McCloud traveled 29.4 yards—and both were absolute strikes.

"Call Purdy a game manager, a game warden, I don't care. He went toe-to-toe with the great Mahomes for five quarters, didn't turn it over -- Mahomes threw a pick and fumbled twice -- and acquitted himself very, very well."

Purdy finished the Super Bowl loss with 255 passing yards and a touchdown, which put the 49ers ahead 16-13 in the fourth quarter. He also did not turn the ball over during the game.

The young quarterback showed tremendous resiliency against the Chiefs' defense's exotic pressures, going 12 for 18 with 131 passing yards and one touchdown when blitzed in the Super Bowl defeat.

Purdy's finished fourth in NFL MVP voting in his sophomore season, throwing for 4,280 yards and 31 touchdowns in 16 regular-season starts.

There are a number of reasons San Francisco failed to capture the Super Bowl glory that has long eluded the prestigious franchise, but Purdy's performance in the big game is not one of them.

Going down to the wire with a quarterback like Mahomes might feel like a hollow consolation prize after falling short of victory, but as time begins to heal the fresh wounds of another Super Bowl defeat, Purdy's performance under the bright lights offers a reason for optimism for years to come.

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