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Five reasons 49ers offense is NFL’s most dangerous entering divisional playoffs: Brock Purdy and tons of YAC

Five reasons 49ers offense is NFL's most dangerous entering divisional playoffs: Brock Purdy and tons of YAC

Brock Purdy has gotten much of the spotlight in recent weeks, and deservedly so, as Mr. Irrelevant has shocked the football world with his level of play. But, credit is due all around as the 49ers offense is clicking on all cylinders heading into their divisional playoff matchup with the Cowboys on Sunday night. 

Here’s a scary thought. The 49ers finished with the NFL‘s No. 1 scoring defense and No. 1 total defense this year for the first time in franchise history. Yet, since Purdy’s first start in Week 14, their offense is actually the better unit. Over that span, San Francisco’s offense leads the NFL in EPA per play, points per game, yards per play, yards per pass and yards per rush, among other categories. The 49ers’ 34.8 points per game in the last six weeks is their best in a six-game span since 1995. 

49ers offense since Week 14 including playoffs

PPG 34.8 1st in NFL
EPA per play 0.03 1st in NFL
Yards per play 6.8 1st in NFL
Yards per rush 5.5 1st in NFL
Yards per pass 8.8 1st in NFL

They capped it off with a historic outburst in a playoff win against the Seahawks.

  • It ranked 16th-best in yards per play (7.9) among 1,106 playoff games in the Super Bowl era (since 1966)
  • It ranked 18th-best performance in EPA per play (0.35) among 504 playoff games since EPA was first tracked in 2000.
  • Purdy delivered the 10th-best yards per completion (18.4) among 774 QB playoff performances with at least 15 completions in the Super Bowl era. It’s better than any of these QBs ever posted in a postseason game. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Kurt Warner, Brett Favre, Steve Young, Joe Montana, to name a few. 
  • It was the fourth-best YAC average (10.3) among 372 playoff games since YAC was first tracked in 2006.

That’s 96th percentile or better in the above four categories. It was one of the most efficient offensive showcases in NFL playoff history, albeit against the Seahawks struggling defense. 

Here are five reasons why this is the most dangerous offense in the NFL right now, one that could lead the 49ers to their first Super Bowl title since 1994. 

1. Kyle Shanahan’s creativity

It all starts with the mind of Kyle Shanahan, who puts his players in motion at or before the snap to create space and confusion better than any coach in the league. Since he landed in San Francisco in 2017, the 49ers have used motion at the highest rate in the league (66%). Since Purdy’s first start in Week 14, San…

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