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Sherman expertly dismantles Cowherd for harsh Purdy criticism

Sherman expertly dismantles Cowherd for harsh Purdy criticism originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Richard Sherman is fed up with the Brock Purdy criticism.

After being shown a clip of Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd harshly critiquing Purdy's play in the 49ers' divisional-round playoff win over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday, Sherman quickly and passionately came to the young quarterback's defense and called out Cowherd's lack of facts.

"If you watched [Packers quarterback] Jordan Love and you watched that game -- Jordan Love is an incredible talent -- he played worse down the stretch when they needed it. He played worse, that's why his team lost," Sherman told Keyshawn Johnson on the "All Facts No Brakes" podcast. "So you're saying he's a more talented quarterback? That's you hiding behind rhetoric or hiding behind words because you can't statistically back up what you're saying.

"Show me the stats. Because if Brock Purdy threw interceptions like Jordan Love did, then he would get up there and double down on what he said."

Purdy didn't have his best showing in Saturday's game, with the rainy weather conditions admittedly playing a role in that. But the second-year signal-caller delivered when it mattered most, leading a game-winning drive in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Love, too, had a chance to lead a game-winning drive for the Packers. And just as they began to get the chains rolling, the 25-year-old quarterback chucked an ill-advised pass to the middle of the field that was intercepted by 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw.

Despite Love's season-ending mistake and Purdy's resilience, it was the latter who fell victim to Cowherd's criticism, as "The Herd" host called Purdy the least talented of the eight quarterbacks in the divisional round, behind Love, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, CJ Stroud, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.

While Sherman acknowledged that Purdy wasn't on his perfect A-game, the former 49ers cornerback believes the criticism is unfair given Purdy's age and experience in the league.

"You're criticizing a guy who's started for a year and a half like he's a 10-year Hall of Fame vet," Sherman said. "But you don't give him the credit of the 10-year Hall of Fame vet."

Johnson, however, believes Purdy's status entering the league is one of the biggest reasons why it's hard for outsiders to buy into the 24-year-old just yet.

Purdy fell to the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft and entered his rookie season as San Francisco's backup behind quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance. But when both Garoppolo and Lance were ruled out for the season with their respective injuries, Purdy took over under center admirably.

But regardless of the numbers or what he has proven on the field, Purdy continues to be doubted. If it's not because of his draft status, it's critics claiming he's a "game-manager" or simply a "system" quarterback.

Sherman doesn't understand how anything other than his play matters when it comes to evaluating Purdy's game.

"If you're telling me it's based on things other than how he plays, then I'm never going to understand," He said. "We're sitting here saying a Pro Bowl quarterback, a legit pick, we're sitting here saying well he's the worst quarterback left [in the playoffs].

"I guarantee you, Kyle Shanahan, if he had to pick, there's probably not one guy he would take, outside of Patrick Mahomes, over Brock Purdy. And I would bet quite a bit of money."

The Purdy criticism isn't new, but there might only be one way to shut the naysayers up for good. That task continues Sunday against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game with the chance to reach Super Bowl LVIII. Maybe, just maybe, the doubt will end.

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