SANTA CLARA — Quarterback Brock Purdy knows where the focus has been since the first day he walked into the 49ers’ training complex.
Against all odds, Purdy will play the most important role on the team as the 49ers begin the postseason next week.
But Purdy does not necessarily see it that way. He said he feels less pressure now than he did during much of his college career at Iowa State, where he was counted upon to be The Guy.
“I have so many playmakers around me I feel like I don’t have all the weight of the world on my shoulders to make something up,” Purdy said Sunday after the 49ers’ 38-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the regular-season finale.
The 49ers (13-4) finished the season on a 10-game win streak and head into the NFC playoffs as the No. 2 seed.
Purdy has done a remarkable job of picking up coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense and distributing the ball to such playmakers as George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey and Brandon Aiyuk.
In addition, Deebo Samuel and Elijah Mitchell returned to action on Sunday as the 49ers enter the postseason as healthy as they’ve been all season.
“I just have to go through my progressions and throw check-downs to guys like Deebo and Christian and they make guys miss,” Purdy said. “For me, it’s nice. I just have to distribute it to guys and they come up with all the yards and stuff, which is fun to watch.”
Purdy has been the center of an amazing story. The final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft has become QB1 after injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo.
When Purdy took over, the 49ers were averaging just 22.6 points per game. In the six games with Purdy at quarterback, the 49ers averaged 33.5 points.
During the regular season, Purdy completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,374 yards with 13 touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 107.3.
He threw a career-best three touchdowns on Sunday against the Cardinals, including two short scoring tosses to Kittle.
Although this will be his first time experiencing an NFL postseason, he knows what’s at stake. And he believes he is prepared to face the challenge.
“I feel great,” Purdy said. “I feel like everyone else is feeling great. When you’re on a roll, on a win streak, you feel like, man, the groove and how we’re playing together, it feels really good when we’re on it.
“I think a lot of us are real with ourselves, too. We feel like we still haven’t played to our full potential, yet. And so we look at it as a challenge but we’re also excited. Man, if we do play to our full potential, it’s like what else can we do? Those are the kinds of things we ask ourselves every day. I’m excited moving forward for being on a win streak.”
The 49ers advanced to the NFC Championship Game in two of the past three seasons. San Francisco also made it to Super Bowl LIV at the conclusion of the 2019 season but came up short against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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Purdy, though a newcomer to the organization, realizes there is unfinished business.
“That’s obviously the main goal,” Purdy said of a Super Bowl title. “It’s been the goal really since these guys played last year before all the rookies and everyone got here. That’s the main focus and goal.
“Throughout the year, you want to focus week-to-week and gain momentum. But obviously, we’re at the point of the season where the regular season is over and now the tournament starts and it really matters.
“Every single day is going to be vital, in terms of getting better and being able to understand what our opponent is going to be doing. It matters. Coach definitely stressed that to us after the game today. We’re already getting ready for what’s to come.”