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49ers overreactions: Brock Purdy injury is worse than the loss to the Eagles

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Brock Purdy injury

The end of the 49ers’ playoffs ends another season of the 49ers’ overreaction.

San Francisco’s 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game doesn’t require much analysis.

After all, the 49ers played five snaps with a healthy Brock Purdy at quarterback, and the offense won two first downs.

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In the sixth game, Purdy suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow. And that was the game. It’s as simple as that.

But other things aren’t so simple, as we explore in this edition of 49ers Overreactions:

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Purdy’s injury opens the door for Jimmy G to return next season. (FB: Walt Drouin)

Overreaction? Yes.

As great as Jimmy Garoppolo has been for the 49ers franchise — and, yes, we used the word “great” — it’s time for him to move on.

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The veteran remained with the 49ers in 2022 to serve as a replacement for Trey Lance after taking a significant pay cut.

Garoppolo was a pro. And he played some of his best football after taking over when Lance was injured. But when Garoppolo came out with a fractured foot, the 49er’s offense didn’t fall.

In fact, it got better.

And the second half of the season seemed to prove that Purdy is the real deal. The initial belief is that Purdy will be ready for training camp.

So, if that’s the case, where would Garoppolo fit on the depth chart? Hall? Backup? Third-string?

Garoppolo will likely go to a team in free agency that can offer him a lot more certainty.

He thinks he’s a starter elsewhere in the NFL. And, of course, he will sign a contract that reflects that status.

Tom Brady to the rescue. (FB: Andrew Schmitz)

Overreaction? Yes.

There was something different about Tom Brady in 2022.

He didn’t look like the same guy. There was a lot going on in his personal life, but we’re not going to speculate on why he looked and played the way he did.

Brady turns 46 in August. He says he doesn’t know if he will continue playing.

Typically, any time a player or coach isn’t sure they want to continue, it means they’re already halfway there.

Only five teams have scored fewer touchdowns than the Buccaneers this season. So it’s not exactly like he did wonders for Tampa Bay.

Brady’s dink-and-dunk style would fit the 49ers, for sure. But San Francisco would sacrifice the mobility and agility they valued from Purdy and Lance.

When the 49ers were preparing for Dallas in the playoffs, they watched footage of the Cowboys’ first-round game against the Bucs.

No one with the 49ers yearned for the Tampa Bay quarterback they watched on the rookie film they already had in that position.

Need to build in the trenches. The Eagles bullied the Niners on both sides of the ball. I have no idea what will happen at quarterback. (FB: Rick Hogan)

Overreaction? No.

The 49ers have emphasized their offensive and defensive lines over the years. The loss to the Eagles proved they still had work to do.

As good as the 49er’s defensive line is this season, it doesn’t even come close to what the Eagles have built.

Philadelphia had four players with 11 or more sacks. They led the NFL with 70 sacks. The 49ers, meanwhile, had Nick Bosa pressing the passer and no one else.

They need to get the most out of second-round pick Drake Jackson. He showed good signs at the start of the season. Then he fell so badly that he didn’t even play in five of the last six games, including all three in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the 49ers have selected five offensive linemen in the past three drafts.

Right tackle Mike McGlinchey is likely moving on, leaving Colton McKivitz the go-to favorite to take his place. The 49ers can be expected to sign more linemen this year — both offensive and defensive.

The organization should be in good shape as the offensive line gains more experience and continues to work together.

The defense won’t be the same if Ryans leave. (FB: Sean Wilson)

Overreaction? No.

DeMeco Ryans’s defensive coordinator was the most popular assistant coach in recent 49ers history.

Nick Bosa explained it: “I think he really figured out how to push us perfectly but not too hard.”

So, yes, the defense will not be the same. It will be different. Could it be better? Doubtful. After all, the 49er’s defense ranked as the best in the NFL in yards and points allowed.

It’s unclear who 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will target to lead his defense. Anyone who steps into this role will have a tough act to follow.

Nothing to overreact to when trying to win with a 4th string QB and an injured 3rd string QB. You just have to accept the loss (FB: Ron Knee)

Overreaction? No.

We can talk about a lot of things, like…

-The failed referee call of the Eagles’ fourth attempt in the first practice of the game.

—The lack of a good replay, the Eagles’ rushed approach, and Shanahan’s decision not to throw the challenge flag.

-The play call on which Purdy was injured. It was a play pass with a through shot designed for Brandon Aiyuk.

But, really, with Haason Reddick lining up wide and a defensive lineman on Mike McGlinchey, who was supposed to block Reddick? Tight end Tyler Kroft was active on Ross Dwelley due to his block.

-The decision to try for points late in the first half, which led to Josh Johnson’s fumble on a perfect shotgun blast.

Yes, we could discuss all these things. But as soon as Purdy was injured, that game was over.


Which is why, really, the only heartbreaking thing about that game for the 49ers was Purdy’s injury.

It was a result that was evident with seven minutes left in the first quarter when Purdy went down with the injury.

Life as we know it will never be the same again. (FB: Zach Smith)

Overreaction? No.

The 49ers have 23 players scheduled for unrestricted free agency.

Most of the core team will be back – players such as Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Trent Williams, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, and more.

But there will be a lot of turnover in this team, probably between 30 and 40%. It means life is changing inside the locker room.

New relationships need to be built and chemistry will be tested.

RELATED: Maiocco: Purdy injury opens 49ers QB door to Lance & others

And when the 49ers next meet, they won’t have any wins or losses.

The team will work for months and months and months in order to get another shot at winning the ultimate prize.

After closing in on a team they believed had what it took to win it all, they have to start from the ground floor again when the regular season opens in September.

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