In a quarterback-driven league, I don’t think that many fans would have predicted the NFC Championship Game would have come down to this prior to the 2022 season. In his third year with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Hurts has taken a massive leap forward — so much so that he was an MVP finalist for his efforts this past year. Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers has a far more impressive Cinderella story, as Mr. Irrelivant has entered the final four.
Now it all comes down to this, and only one of these two quarterbacks will advance to the Super Bowl. Both signal-callers are aided by impressive offensive lines and strong overall rosters (arguably the two best in the league, in fact).
As we prepare for an NFC championship game that could come down to the wire, the slightest advantage at the quarterback position could make all the difference in the outcome of this game. So who holds the advantage between Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy this Sunday?
Jalen Hurts is heating up for the Eagles again.
Jalen Hurts dealt with an injury that held him out of Weeks 16 and 17 of the 2022 season, and he didn’t play particularly well in his first game back in the season finale. To close the regular season against the Giants, Hurts threw 35 passes for just 229 yards (6.5 yards per attempt) and an interception), per ESPN stats.
However, following the first-round bye and an added week of rest, Hurts dominated New York’s defense in this rematch to the point where he hardly had to throw the ball late in the game as they cruised to a 38-7 victory.
Now Hurts will get a much taller task against a vastly more talented 49ers defense. San Francisco allowed just 12 points to Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round and was able to intercept the ball twice. The 49ers finished with the top-ranked defense in the NFL this year, so putting up gaudy numbers might not be attainable.
Brock Purdy faces his biggest challenge yet with the 49ers.
While Brock Purdy has had an extremely impressive season, it’s worth noting that he had a pretty easy schedule since becoming the starter in San Francisco. Last week against Micah Parsons and a talented Cowboys defense, Purdy struggled to move the ball consistently in a game where he put up just 214 yards and didn’t throw a touchdown pass.
This performance resulted in just 19 points for the 49ers. Luckily, they were still able to pull off the victory. Now the last overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft will try to defy the odds by making it to the Super Bowl during his rookie season, but Philadelphia’s remarkably deep and talented defense could stand in his way.
Hurts will hold an advantage over Purdy
As impressed as I have been by Brock Purdy all season, there’s plenty of reason to think that Jalen Hurts will hold a competitive edge in this contest. Purdy is coming off an unspectacular performance in which he asked his defense to bail him out of trouble. Dallas’ defensive line was able to get quick and consistent pressure on the rookie QB, which got him a little uncomfortable early on. The Eagles have a defense that is every bit as talented, and they may be able to get Purdy rattled early as well.
Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts is a more experienced player who has been in moments like these dating back to his time at Alabama and Oklahoma. His most recent performance was much more reassuring. It’s also worth noting that Philly’s impressive offensive line bullied a talented Giants front four last week. Their mammoths up front have proven that they can go toe-to-toe with the best in the business.
As well as San Francisco’s defense played last week, I would give the edge to the Eagles quarterback in the NFC Championship Game.