Brock Purdy leads San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars pull off huge comeback

american-football, football, Jacksonville Jaguars pull off huge comeback, NFL play-offs: Brock Purdy leads San Francisco 49ers, sport

Brock Purdy continued his remarkable NFL start as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks 41-23 on the first night of this season’s play-offs.

The rookie was this season’s ‘Mr Irrelevant’, the last man selected in the NFL draft, but has won all six games since injuries caused him to become the 49ers’ starting quarterback.

The Jacksonville Jaguars then pulled off the third largest comeback in play-off history to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30 after trailing 27-0 late in the second quarter.

Although Seattle led 17-16 at half-time, Purdy passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another as hosts San Francisco claimed an 11th straight win.

The 23-year-old is just the seventh rookie quarterback to win their first NFL play-off game and hopes to become the first to reach the Super Bowl.

“[I’m] just taking it one day at a time,” he said. “We’ve got a goal, to win the whole thing, but it’s tournament play and anything can happen.

“I’ve got such a great team, it’s not a one-man show and I’m very blessed to take them from here.

As it happened – Jaguars complete huge comeback after 49ers win
Essential guide to the NFL play-offs

Since beating Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers on his first start in week 14 of the regular season, Purdy has statistically been the best quarterback in the NFL.

That helped the 49ers secure the second seed in the NFC and they charged into a 10-0 lead against Seattle, with Purdy finding Christian McCaffrey for a three-yard touchdown.

The Seahawks replied with touchdowns from Kenneth Walker and DK Metcalf helping them edge in front.

But the 49ers were dominant after starting the second half with a 13-play drive, with Purdy punching it into the end zone from a yard out.

San Francisco forced a turnover on Seattle’s next possession and they made their divisional rivals pay with an Elijah Mitchell touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter.

Purdy then found Deebo Samuel in space and he ran in a 74-yard score, helping the quarterback to finish with 332 passing yards, before Metcalf claimed a late consolation.

Lawrence bounces back from woeful start

Saturday was the first day since the 1986 season that every starting quarterback was making their first play-off start, and despite a miserable beginning to Trevor Lawrence’s post-season debut, the Jacksonville quarterback masterminded a stunning fightback.

After being intercepted four times in the first half, the number one draft pick in 2021 bounced back to throw four touchdown passes and get the Jaguars within range for Riley Patterson to kick a match-winning field goal as time expired.

“You couldn’t write a crazier script,” said Lawrence. “We know we’re always counted out of these games but we don’t care, we love it.

“We knew our defence would get some stops and we’d get enough opportunities to go win the game – I’m kind of speechless just to see what belief can do.”

Two of Lawrence’s interceptions led to rushing touchdowns for Austin Ekeler while quarterback Justin Herbert found Gerald Everett to put the Chargers in control.

Evan Engram’s touchdown made it 27-7 at the half and gave the Jaguars hope in their first play-off game in five years.

Lawrence then found Marvin Jones and Zay Jones to cut the deficit to 30-20 late in the third quarter, and he made a two-point conversion after Christian Kirk’s touchdown to get Jacksonville within two points with just over five minutes remaining.

That meant a field goal would win it for the hosts, and after the Chargers were forced to go three-and-out, a 25-yard run by Travis Etienne gave Patterson the chance to kick the Jaguars to a thrilling victory from 36 yards.

The first round of the NFL play-offs, known as the wildcard weekend, continues with three more games on Sunday.

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