The time has come to talk about Brock Purdy’s MVP chances in 2023. Admittedly, it’s still hard not to think of him as a former Mr. Irrelevant who has come upon great luck early in his career. But it’s time to start looking at Purdy as something more than that. He’s one of the best players in the league currently and among the NFL MVP candidates.
The Case for Brett Purdy as NFL MVP
What exactly are Brock Purdy’s MVP chances in 2023? Well, they’re certainly a lot better than they were at the start of the season. However, the race is still wide open with a month left in the season. With that said, let’s take a look at why Purdy is the right choice to be NFL MVP in 2023.
Numbers Don’t Lie
The reluctance some have in supporting Purdy as the MVP can largely be attributed to the fact that he was a late-round pick and doesn’t have the prototypical size and arm strength of an elite quarterback. However, Purdy has proven to have all of the intangibles one could want in a quarterback. He can read defenses, make good decisions, use his legs effectively, and do everything else asked of quarterbacks in today’s NFL.
More importantly, the numbers don’t lie when it comes to how Purdy stacks up against the NFL’s other quarterbacks. Coming out of Week 13, Purdy has the highest passer rating in the league by a wide margin over Dak Prescott, who ranks second. Purdy also leads the NFL in yards per attempt by a full yard, averaging 9.6 yards per pass. He also ranks among the top five in touchdown passes and is tied for the second-fewest interceptions among quarterbacks with at least 20 touchdown passes. Finally, Purdy has the best completion percentage of any full-time quarterback. Statistically, no quarterback in the league can match or exceed what Purdy has done this year.
Historically, winning MVP has also required winning games. Purdy has done that, leading the 49ers to a 9-3 record. Given San Francisco’s remaining schedule, the 49ers will likely finish with at least 12 or 13 wins and be among the favorites in the NFC to reach the Super Bowl. Purdy and company endured a three-game losing streak during the middle of the season and appear to have come out of it.
In fact, if you were to remove those three games from his MVP resume, Purdy has been even better than his current numbers indicate. More importantly, the 49ers have moved beyond that three-game losing streak with convincing and lopsided wins over teams like the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Eagles.
Response to the Skeptics
Outside of Purdy not looking the part of an elite quarterback on the surface, skeptics believe that he has lucked into a favorable situation with the 49ers. It’s true that Christian McCaffrey is having one of his best seasons and is arguably the best non-quarterback in the league right now. Likewise, most quarterbacks would love to have a receiver tandem like Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, as well as George Kittle, who remains among the best tight ends in the NFL.
However, while Purdy has made the most of his supporting cast, that shouldn’t hurt his case for MVP honors. He’s helped the players around him to succeed just as much as they’ve helped Purdy. Teams can’t load the box to stop McCaffrey because they know that Purdy can create big plays down the field. Meanwhile, the amount of passing yards after the catch that have been accredited to Purdy is only slightly above average and on par with past MVPs. In fact, Purdy is getting fewer yards after the catch from his receivers than Patrick Mahomes received last season when he won MVP.
The bottom line is that the award is not for the most talented player but the most valuable, which is a word that describes Purdy. The numbers say that Purdy is having a more impressive season than any other quarterback in the league. He’s leading a top-10 passing attack and a team that ranks third in points scored this season. Purdy is also the leader of the team that most consider the betting favorite to win the Super Bowl. Add it all up and you’ve got an MVP.