Inside the three days that sparked changed in the NFL

0 Comments

Wednesday: The Preamble

11:41 a.m. Drew Brees, in an interview with Yahoo Finance, is asked about players kneeling in protest during the national anthem. “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States,” Brees said. It’s a feeling the patriotic Brees has had for years. He’s said similar things before. But now the inference that Brees would disapprove of a black player kneeling to protest the oppression of black people was a lit match tossed into a bone-dry forest.

3:35 p.m. Today’s sports culture is interesting. Instead of reaching out to Brees and saying, Hey, that’s insulting to us, teammates and foes alike jeered Brees on social media—first wideout Michael Thomas, then safety Malcolm Jenkins, finally LeBron James. Brees got flash-bombed everywhere. “Sometimes you need to shut the f— up,” said teammate and Players Coalition leader Malcolm Jenkins in an Instagram post he later deleted. As one person close to Brees told me, the social-media rip jobs reminded him of “Lord of the Flies.” In that book, normal British boys get stranded on a desert island and have to fend for themselves, and they spiral into savagery to survive. Sounds about right.

5:10 p.m. Meanwhile, Story Two was percolating and about to boil over. As with many NFL employees, NFL social media creative producer, Bryndon Minter, 27, was angry with the NFL’s word-salad response to the George Floyd murder and the ensuing outcry for a firmer message. Early in the week, with the Floyd killing beginning to dominate society, Minter told his bosses he didn’t want to do business as usual. He couldn’t in good conscience post “Five best Jalen Ramsey interceptions,” and he couldn’t sit by while his employer wasn’t out-front with an action plan for the Floyd story. So Minter, who is white, did something that he knew could cost him his job. What if he could get a player, or players, to voice what they were feeling, adamantly? Working virtually from his kitchen table in Mar Vista (in West L.A.), Minter sent a message to Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, who’d been reacting strongly to the death of Floyd. “Want to help you create content to be heard around the league,” Minter wrote to Thomas. “I’m an NFL social employee and am embarrassed by how the league has been silent this week. The NFL hasn’t condemned racism. The NFL hasn’t said that Black Lives Matter. I want [to] help you put pressure on. And arm you with a video that expresses YOUR voice and what you want from the league. Give me a holler if you’re interested in working together, thanks bro!” Minter said he did not expect a response.

5:33 p.m. He got one, in 23 minutes. Thomas, in New Orleans, answered. He was interested. What could they do? Minter envisioned players telling the NFL they needed to be supported more, and the highest levels of the league needed to come out unambiguously and say peaceful player protest was okay, racism in any form was not, black lives matter, and listen to your players. Thomas okayed the project. “We have the channels—we need the content that can share our voice,” Thomas said. Minter and co-worker Nick Toney, working from his home in New York, went to work.

NFL video producer Bryndon Minter, at home in west L.A. (NBC Sports)

11 p.m. Minter pinged Thomas and said he’d have a script ready for him to peruse that night. Minter and Toney, bi-Coastal, worked using a Google Doc to add and subtract copy. At one point, one said, “My God! Michael Thomas is in on this!” They kept trimming. “It needed to be snackable,” Minter said. Because Thomas thought he could engage several players to be in on the video, Minter and Toney wrote lines for multiple players. One of the key lines they wanted multiple players in a Zoom-like checkerboard to say was, “WE, the players of the National Football League.” To show the game IS the players. Thomas would lead the video. Minter and Toney wrote this for the emerging leader and young star whose Twitter feed @Cantguardmike is one of the league’s rising social accounts, as if Thomas was speaking directly to Roger Goodell, and for Thomas and other players to lead the video with::

“It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered. How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players? What will it take? For one of us to be murdered by police brutality? What if I was George Floyd?”

Thursday: The Wheels Are In Motion

2 a.m. Thomas got the script after midnight in New Orleans. Loved it. Meanwhile, he began engaging some of the league’s biggest stars to be involved—at the same time he was dealing with the three-alarm fire of what Brees said, prepping for a major Saints team meeting on Thursday. “I’m in awe of how Michael balanced these two huge things,” said Minter. “While simultaneously dealing with the Drew Brees situation and figuring how to handle that, he’s texting all these guys around the league to be involved in this project. Once he was in, he said, ‘Don’t worry. We’ll get the best of the best for this.”

8:22 a.m. Drew Brees on Twitter: “I am sorry, and I will do better, and I will be part of the solution. I am your ally.” On CNN, Saints linebacker Demario Davis supported Brees, saying the mark of a leader is admitting a mistake.

10 a.m. By the time Minter woke up, he’d been sent files from Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks of the Vikings and Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott. Odell Beckham Jr. sent his files on iCloud. Minter told a supervisor what he was doing, so as not to blindside him, knowing that the supervisor would send the information of this rogue video up the food chain. “I was at peace with whatever happened, at peace with the prospect of losing my job over this,” Minter said. “If I was told I was losing my job in the middle of this, I’d still have put the video out. I was just the vehicle for the players having a voice.”

1:15 p.m. Ordering breakfast in the drive-through lane at Chick Fil-A, Minter got confirmation that Patrick Mahomes was in. Mahomes, the new face of the league; that was big.

1:45 p.m. Jets safety Jamal Adams, via cameraphone from his driver’s seat, sent his “WE, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” and raised his right fist in a black power salute. Mahomes’ video, recorded in his shoe closet, said “WE, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.” This was a kernel of an idea 20 hours ago. Now, Minter knew, it was going to be huge. “When I saw Jamal’s video and his passion, I got goosebumps,” Minter said. “That’s the same emotion my black colleagues working in the league have.”

2 p.m. The Saints team meeting commenced. In a 100-minute meeting via teleconference, Brees emotionally apologized—that much we know, and we’re pretty sure it included tears from Brees. We don’t know a lot, though, because Payton and the Saints threw a news blackout over what happened in the room. I’m guessing the Saints coach is going to channel his inner Parcells over the next couple of months. Noted tough guy/mental-game-player Bill Parcells is a mentor for Payton, who I’d bet will try to find a way to make this this an us-versus-them thing, us against the divisive forces of all media—including the social-media missives from other NFL players and in other leagues.

Saints coach Sean Payton and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. (Getty Images/2)

The weird part of the story is there was one non-Saint in the Zoom meeting: Shaquille O’Neal. The team has guests speak to some virtual team meetings (Snoop Dogg did the honors on one meeting in May), and Shaq happened to be on the schedule Thursday. So there he was, watching the most emotional and important Zoom meeting in NFL history—it’s not a very long history—and when Shaq spoke up, he had something to say. Something, it turns out, that made him quite a valuable participant in this Zoom meeting. As one ear-witness said, O’Neal told the coaches and players words approximating these: They’re going to try to divide you, just like they divided us with the Lakers! Me and Kobe [Bryant], we had a great thing going, but the media divided our team. We could have won five more championships! Stay strong. Don’t let the media divide you! Don’t let social media divide you!

5 p.m. Working on his NFL-issued MacBook Pro on approximately 100 video files of all different quality from 20 NFL players—including Deshaun Watson, Stephon Gilmore, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Jarvis Landry, Tyrann Mathieu, DeAndre Hopkins and newcomer Chase Young—there was only one player missing: Giants receiver Sterling Shepard. Thomas very much wanted Shepard, and his “I am Laquan McDonald” line, in the final product. Amazingly, the video was just about ready and captioned less than 24 hours after Minter broached the idea to Thomas.

6:32 p.m. A new and bolstered NFL statement was issued for the @NFL Twitter feed. “We stand with the black community because Black Lives Matter. Through Inspire Change, the NFL, Players and our partners have supported programs and initiatives throughout the country to address systemic racism. We will continue using our platform to challenge the injustice around us. To date we have donated $44 million to support hundreds of worthy organizations. This year, we are committing an additional $20 million to these causes and we will accelerate efforts to highlight their critical work. We know that we can and need to do more.”

The NFL kept hearing from its employees that its previous statement was weak and didn’t clearly state it condemns racism—even though its work with the Players Coalition, including a May 26 meeting with Coalition leader Anquan Boldin, laid out a platform of work it would do this year in police reform. The league had been thinking of bolstering the message since Tuesday, so this new statement wasn’t spur-of-the-moment. But it did end up beating the players video by 2.5 hours. “Hearing the league say ‘Black lives matter’ was a start,” one player said.

8:15 p.m. Minter got the video file from Sterling Shepard. “I am Laquan McDonald.” He shoehorned it into the video, polished it, and sent the final product to Thomas. “This is the most insane thing I’ve done in my life,” Minter said. “Unheard of from a creative standpoint.” Less than 28 hours after virtually meeting Michael Thomas, an iconic video (and it will be) was created and posted, and it will affect how people view players, perhaps for a long time.

8:45 p.m. In a text to Minter after watching the video, Thomas wrote: “Amazing work. You are elite.”

9 p.m. The video posted on Saquon Barkley’s account, and seven minutes later Michael Thomas posted. A hit. What was so compelling about it is the tinge of anger that accompanied messages from such widely respected players. Mathieu, for instance, is one of the best leaders on any team in football; Andy Reid gave him a strong leadership role on the Super Bowl Chiefs last year. He was speaking directly to Goodell when he said: “How many time do we need to ask you to listen to your players?” Neatly woven together are 20 voices, saying this: “We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit … So on behalf of the National Football League, this is what we the players would like to hear you state: We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systemic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”

9:30 p.m. Sitting in his home in Washington, D.C., former player Donte’ Stallworth, who was politically active as a player and is even moreso now, watched the video. He pumped his fist. “YES! YES!” Stallworth said. Later, he said, “The players are finally wielding this power they’ve always had. I loved it.”

Friday: Black Employees Matter

10 a.m. “I’m going to make a video,” Goodell announces to his executive team on a regular morning videoconference. (League employees are still working from home.) The video was powerful, as were several emails to Goodell from black employees, who make up about 10 percent of the league’s off-the-field work force. One spoke of “hopelessness,” and that got to Goodell. There was a league town hall, co-hosted by M.J. Acosta and Steve Wyche of NFL Network, scheduled for 1 p.m., with Goodell and three guest speakers to discuss race and the state of the league and the country. On the Zoom invitation were 12 faces of black people killed by police in recent years. On another Zoom meeting during the week, about 200 employees, the majority black members of the league’s chapter of the Black Engagement Network, met virtually. “It was a ‘Let it out’ session,” said Jarick Walker, 31, an influencer and talent marketing manager for the league. Walker is black. “A lot of people [black employees] were feeling frustrated. But we got to the point where we weren’t afraid to voice it anymore.”

1 p.m. The 100-minute virtual Town Hall was emotional from the start. One person in the meeting said it was actually Jarick Walker’s question/plea that was the most riveting. Walker was prepared. He was the first employee to speak. “I was outspoken,” Walker told me. “My point, basically, was this: I am unsure where we stand. The NFL is the American sport that brings us all together when disasters happen. The NFL brought the country together after 9/11, after Karina. Here’s another disaster. The NFL’s not bringing us together. Why? We’re America’s game. We need to hear from the mountaintop that we as a league condemn racism.”

When he finished, Walker said, the Zoom Town Hall, with hundreds on it, was silent. “I was shaking,” Walker said. “I broke down in tears.” If Goodell didn’t know now how his black employees felt, he did now. And though he’d already decided to come out strong with his own video, this was another brick in the wall.

Jarick Walker (left) spoke up during the NFL’s in-house town hall meeting. (NBC Sports)

3 p.m. Goodell, in a blue sweater in his home 15 miles north of the league office in Westchester County, recorded his 81-second video for posting that evening. He said:

“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.

“I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country.

“Without black players, there would be no National Football League, and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff. We are listening. I am listening.”

4:08 p.m. President Trump, who had once urged NFL owners to fire any “son of a bitch” NFL player for kneeling during the national anthem, criticized Brees for apologizing to his teammates and to the country. NO KNEELING, Trump said. All caps. Now the ball was in Brees’ court.

6:31 p.m. The NFL released Goodell’s statement on Twitter.

7:10 p.m. Drew Brees rebutted Donald Trump’s criticism for apologizing by tweeting: “We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when? We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities.”

7:18 p.m.: Michael Thomas retweeted Goodell’s statement with this line: “Well said Roger.”

10:14 p.m.: Thomas retweeted Brees’ response to Trump with this line: “MY QB” with the flex emoji.


At 5:44 p.m. Saturday, Minter got an email from Goodell. Goodell thanked him for the “powerful and impactful” video. Goodell told Minter he’d love to get him more involved in the league’s social initiatives.

Where the NFL goes from here is a lot like where the country goes from here. Will the push continue? Will the 32 owners in the league, who have the real power, back their commissioner’s words when 15 players on some team choose to kneel during the anthem this year? And make no mistake—that’s coming. How will hardliner Jerry Jones react to a cadre of players kneeling? The threat of the NFL sanctioning players if they kneeled during games in 2018 (a bylaw was passed but never enforced that allowed players to stay in the locker room but not kneel during the anthem) is fresh in players’ heads.

One of the most vocal pro-protest players, Houston safety Michael Thomas, said in a text to me: “It [Goodell’s words and the league’s admission of holding player protests back] is definitely a step in the right direction. However, I personally believe that people are going to call for the league to address what happened to the players who originally protested police brutality and systemic racism and oppression. They will ask that the league not only admit they were wrong for suppressing the voices of the players protesting, but also say their names, just like it’s important to say the names of the countless black people who have been murdered due to police brutality so they don’t die in vain. It’s important that the league says the names Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, Kenny Stills. It will allow the players to fully believe them and we could then all move forward together.”

Employees seemed more hopeful.

Maurice Jennings, who is black, is a senior director of influence and brand partnerships at the NFL. From Maplewood, N.J., he said: “I believe in the brand as a unifying force, and this week rejuvenated me. This week has been powerful and historic, because I feel like black voices helped lead the change. I think it’s the beginning of some change in the league. No one was going to settle for ‘not good enough.’ “

From Hollywood, Jarick Walker said: “What really struck me from Roger’s statement was, ‘Without black people, the NFL wouldn’t exist.’ That’s powerful, coming from him. After the town hall, I got so many messages, some from people I didn’t even know. One person emailed me, ‘Thank you for being so brave.’ You know, for the first time, I felt like I wasn’t on an island.” Walker paused for a minute, then said: “You can’t help feeling you changed the system.”

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

What to know about Super Bowl 2023: Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

3 Comments

The NFL playoffs are in full swing and Super Bowl 2023 will be here before we know it! See below for answers to all of your questions about the big game. Be sure to tune to NBC and Peacock every week for Sunday Night Football games this season and extra content from Mike Florio, Matthew Berry, Chris Simms and more.

RELATED: When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more

Four teams are left heading into the Conference Championships and only two will make it to Super Bowl LVII. Ahead of this weekend, here’s everything you need to know about the biggest game of the NFL season.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

When is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Where is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 will be contested at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona.

Who is performing the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023?

It was announced in September, that international popstar, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Rihanna will headline the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

When was the last time Rihanna released an album?

Rihanna’s most recent album “Anti” came out in 2016. The Barbados native has spent the last few years venturing into various business industries including beauty, fashion, and makeup. Additionally, the superstar welcomed her first child, a boy, in May of 2022.

Why does the NFL use Roman numerals?

AFL and Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt proposed using Roman numerals for each Super Bowl to add pomp and gravitas to the game. Roman numerals were, unsurprisingly, used in ancient Rome as a number system. I stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50 and C for 100. That’s right: In 2066, get ready for Super Bowl C.

Super Bowl V was the first to use Roman numerals. They were retroactively added to the Super Bowl II to IV logos and have been used each year since⁠ until 2016. For Super Bowl L, or 50, the NFL tried out 73 different logos before breaking down and using a plain old “50.”

The Roman numerals for this year’s big game, Super Bowl 57, are LVII.

Which NFL team has the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history?

The Patriots and Steelers are not only familiar with playing on the big stage, but they also know what it takes to come out on top. New England and Pittsburgh are tied for the most Super Bowl victories in the NFL with six each. The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys have won five Lombardi Trophies each and the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants are tied with four Super Bowl championships.

  • New England Patriots: 6
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 6
  • San Francisco 49ers: 5
  • Dallas Cowboys: 5
  • Green Bay Packers: 4
  • New York Giants: 4

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

2023 NFL Playoffs: What to know about SF QB Brock Purdy Ahead of NFC Championship game

0 Comments

The NFC crown is up for grabs on Sunday, and it will be Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles squaring off with Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers to secure a ticket to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. These two high-powered teams have both had seasons for the storybooks, but possibly no story this year has been greater than that of “Mr. Irrelevant’s” emergence.

From the 262nd pick in the draft to a third-string quarterbacking role, the odds of Purdy making a splash in the NFL seemed all but impossible at the start of the season. But just months later, the 23-year-old finds himself captaining one of the league’s most storied franchises on a playoff run in hopes of bringing a sixth Lombardi home to the Bay.

The 49ers will take on the Eagles in the NFC Championship game Sunday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. EST. Let’s take a closer look at Purdy’s emergence from “Mr. Irrelevant” to QB1.

RELATED: 49ers vs. Eagles NFC Championship matchup, series history

Where did Brock Purdy go to college?

Before Purdy was a Niner, he was first an Iowa State Cyclone.

In fact, Purdy rose to stardom in Ames much like he is now doing in San Francisco. Purdy entered the picture at Iowa State as the third-string quarterback, in line for field time behind quarterbacks Kyle Kempt and Zeb Nolan.

The season-opener, however, shook things up. Kempt suffered an MCL injury against Iowa, bumping up Nolan to the role of signal-caller. Nolan then saw a rough three-game stretch, forcing ISU coach Matt Campbell to give the freshman Purdy an opportunity.

Purdy would take this opportunity and run with it. He first entered the scene mid-game against Oklahoma State, leading the Cyclones to a thrilling victory over the Cowboys as they edged them out, 48-42. Purdy was now the man for Iowa State.

In his four-year career, Purdy was simply a winner. He finished his time in Ames as Iowa State’s career leader in passing yards (12,170), total offense (13,347), touchdown passes (81), completions (993), passing efficiency (151.1) and completion percentage (67.7). The wide-eyed freshman with an opportunity developed into the winningest quarterback in Cyclones history (30-17).

RELATED: Eagles DC warned 49ers of ‘electric’ atmosphere at the Linc

Jalen Hurts vs Brock Purdy collegiate record

Sunday’s Conference Championship will not be the first time that Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy have gone head-to-head. The Cyclones faced off with the Oklahoma Sooners in November of 2019.

While the senior Hurts and his offense diced up Iowa State’s defense early, Purdy would charge his team to a comeback from the 35-14 halftime deficit. Purdy led an epic resurgence coming out of the locker room, outscoring the Sooners 27-7. A savvy drive from the sophomore late in the fourth resulted in a 33-yard touchdown to Sean Shaw Jr., cutting the deficit to 42-35 with three minutes remaining.

On the ensuing drive, Hurts made a disastrous mistake, throwing a pass into traffic that was picked off by Lawrence White. With the ball at the Oklahoma 35, Purdy could not be stopped, pulling off a few impressive plays before connecting with Charlie Kolar in the end zone.

The scoreboard now read 42-41, and the Cyclones wanted to end the game right then and there. Purdy dropped back for the two-point conversion, throwing a dart to La’Michael Pettway. The pass hit Pettway’s hands, but was then knocked away by Oklahoma defenders. While the epic comeback could not be completed, it was a game to be remembered.

RELATED: Brock Purdy views time at Iowa State as ‘blessing in disguise’

When was Brock Purdy drafted?

Brock Purdy found a home in San Francisco on Saturday, April 30 when he was selected by the 49ers as the 262nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. As Melanie Salata held up the “Mr. Irrelevant” jersey on the NFL Draft stage, no one knew that the name on the back of it would rise to relevance so quickly.

The seventh-round pick was passed over by nearly every NFL team, except for one. Not even the 49ers knew that this selection would hold so much magnitude, as Purdy was merely expected to be a third-string rookie sitting behind starter Trey Lance and backup Nate Sudfeld.

RELATED: CMC vows to be ready for NFC title game despite calf discomfort

How has Brock Purdy fared as an NFL starter?

San Francisco’s blueprint at the beginning of the season would be thrown out the door very quickly. The 49ers made the decision in late August to retain veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and release Sudfeld, allowing Purdy to remain in his third-string role.

When Lance suffered a crushing injury against the Seahawks in just the second game of the season, it seemed clear that Garoppolo was destined to lead the team to its third playoff appearance in four years. Garoppolo would go 6-3 in his next nine starts, making Super Bowl aspirations once again very real for the team that lost the big game just three years prior.

In a critical battle against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12, however, that vision faded. Garoppolo suffered a broken foot on the final play of the team’s opening drive, and “Mr. Irrelevant” was now QB1.

Purdy’s first drive of the game ended in a 3-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk to give San Francisco a 10-7 lead. As with his starting role in Iowa State, Purdy has yet to look back.

RELATED: Brock Purdy’s PFF grades show how well he operates under pressure

He drove the team to a 33-17 victory over Miami, finishing the day 25 for 37 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. His starting debut came the next week, against none other than the great Tom Brady.

The rookie tore through Tampa Bay, becoming the first quarterback to ever defeat Brady in his first start. The game ended with an emotional hug from his father, who had witnessed his son take down a quarterback who has been playing pro football longer than Brock has been alive.

Purdy remains undefeated as an NFL starter. Since taking over in Week 13, “Mr. Irrelevant” has gone 7-0, with an overtime victory and two playoff triumphs. While many thought the rookie would crumble under postseason pressure, he has yet to let his team down. In the 49ers wild card battle against their division foe Seattle Seahawks, he became the first NFL rookie to score four touchdowns in a playoff game. While the divisional round success over Dallas wasn’t the prettiest victory, Purdy got the job done, advancing his team to the NFC Championship for the second consecutive year.

Will Brock Purdy play in NFC Championship game?

Now, the seventh rounder will clash with a daunting Philadelphia defense for the conference crown, with aspirations of becoming the first rookie quarterback to ever hoist a Lombardi. On Monday ahead of the Conference Championships, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told media that he’d be “very surprised” if quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was able to play in Sunday’s game, meaning that Purdy is still QB1, with Josh Johnson as the backup.

RELATED: When was the last time the 49ers made it to, won the Super Bowl?

Has a rookie QB ever started in a Super Bowl?

Should the 49ers advance to the Super Bowl, Purdy has a shot to cap an unbelievable season with a particularly remarkable accomplishment: No rookie quarterback has won a Super Bowl, and in fact, no rookie quarterback has ever started in a Super Bowl.

RELATED: Ranking potential Super Bowl LVII matchups

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023

Check out ProFootballTalk for more on the 2023 NFL Playoffs as well as game previews, picks, recaps, news, rumors and more.