The San Francisco 49ers returned to their early-season form just in time for their most important stretch of the regular season.
Following a three-game losing streak, the 49ers won their second straight convincing game on Sunday thanks to a strong defensive effort, big plays from Brandon Aiyuk, and a faultless performance from Brock Purdy.
“We’re taking steps in the right direction,” tight end George Kittle said. “We’re definitely not there yet.”
If the 49ers (7-3) are to challenge for the NFC’s top seed, they must quickly return to their best. Thursday night’s visit to division rival Seattle marks the start of a challenging three-game stretch for San Francisco, which also includes trips to Philadelphia, the current NFC champion, and Seattle.
Instead of the team that dropped three straight games prior to a bye week, San Francisco comes into this stretch of games looking a lot more like the one that started the season 5-0.
The performance of Purdy, who threw five interceptions during the losing run but has been almost faultless the past two games, has been the biggest difference.
In the last two games, he has completed 40 of 51 passes for 629 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions, and the best passer rating ever over a two-start span (157.3).
Head coach Kyle Shanahan stated that he was never concerned about Purdy and is happy that despite the turnovers during the losing run, he is still willing to be aggressive.
“The guy was playing unbelievable in those three losses, so there was nothing to really worry about,” Shanahan said. “You just got to make sure he doesn’t make up stuff that other people are making up. So you just try to get him to stick with practice, stick with the film and doing what you’re doing. He had a couple bad picks in those games but there was none that he felt he had to change with what he was doing because he was playing such a high level in those losses too.”