National Football League
Is 49ers QB Brock Purdy a deserving NFL MVP finalist?
National Football League

Is 49ers QB Brock Purdy a deserving NFL MVP finalist?

Published Jan. 25, 2024 7:11 p.m. ET

It was revealed Thursday that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is a finalist for the 2023 NFL Most Valuable Player Award, along with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen

Not everyone is so sure that Purdy deserves to be in the mix. On Thursday's edition of "First Things First," Nick Wright argued that the Niners' signal-caller shouldn't be an MVP finalist at all.

"Brock Purdy and Josh Allen have no business being top-five MVP finalists," Wright said. "Were the Niners some historic juggernaut? Were they a team whose offense had to be so sensational because the defense was so bad? No, they won 12 games. They were one of nine teams in the league this year to win 11 or more games. Their defense was excellent, and their offense was excellent. Do they have to have two MVP finalists? Of course not."

San Francisco's offense averaged 257.9 passing yards (fourth in the NFL), 140.5 rushing yards (third), 398.4 total yards (second) and 28.9 points (third) per game in the regular season. Its defense surrendered 214.2 passing yards (14th), 89.7 rushing yards (third), 303.9 total yards (eighth) and 17.5 points (third) per game.


On the other hand, Chris Broussard was just relieved to have MVP voters validate his opinion on Purdy's 2023 campaign.

"One thing I love about writers — and that's who votes — [is] writers don't wave pom-poms," Broussard said. "Writers are objective, and writers looked at this and objectively said 'Brock Purdy is in the conversation."

Purdy totaled 4,280 passing yards, 31 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions and an NFL-best 113.0 passer rating, while completing 69.4% of his passes in the 16 regular-season starts he made (Purdy didn't start Week 18 with the Niners having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC). He also ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns. 

Purdy's performance earned him a Pro Bowl nod in just his second season, as the 49ers finished at 12-5.

While Purdy has shined and put up superb production, his precise role in the 49ers' success frequently comes into question given the amplitude of star power in their offense. Outside of McCaffrey — a fellow MVP finalist — tight end and five-time Pro Bowler George Kittle, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk — who posted a career-high 1,342 receiving yards — and versatile star receiver Deebo Samuel reside in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.

Lamar Jackson & Dak Prescott headline the 2023 NFL MVP finalists

Purdy has also experienced some struggles against potent defenses and/or overall opponents, throwing for just 125 yards in a loss to the Cleveland Browns and throwing four interceptions in a loss at home to the Ravens.

San Francisco squeaked out a 24-21 win against the Green Bay Packers in its NFC divisional-round tilt. Purdy finished that game with 252 passing yards, one passing score and an 86.7 passer rating, while completing 59% of his passes.

Next up for Purdy & Co. is a home matchup against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

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