By Leonardo Ramirez
The playoffs are here, and playoff emotions are high. The 49ers beat the Seahawks in incredibly high fashion 38-23. Brock Purdy, the rookie who hasn’t started ten games, rightfully had playoff jitters to start his first playoff game. And in all of those six wild card games this year, most of the games came down to the wire, within a touchdown or less. The 49ers on the other hand masterfully exceeded an 18-point victory in one of the NFL’s most aggressive rivalries in the past years and stomped on the Seahawks.
When it comes to tests for Purdy, it seems like nothing fazes him, whether it’s him coming out with an overtime win on the road or playing in a primetime game with a divisional title on the line. Purdy has faced all the in-season adversity he could get thrown at him.
But of course, those would only be considered practice tests, as the most crucial test would be the playoffs, and the postseason pressure that comes with it. The postseason is where the lights are brightest and even the best players could crumble in moments that are “too big” for them.
It was a bit of a rough first half for the young quarterback. Some would say this was the game where he looked like a true rookie, arguably one of his worst overall performances as a Niner in terms of accuracy, consistency, and bolting out of clean pockets. You would never guess by looking at the final score and stat sheet that the Niner QB struggled for the majority of the first half. But halftime came at the perfect time and he cleaned most of it up, just like what we’ve been seeing him do in his past games. The 49ers are the NFL’s fiercest defenses in recent memory and an offense as dynamic enough to turn a seventh-round draft pick into an up-and-coming star. It was tough and gritty at first, but Purdy’s headstrong poise and awareness eventually came through.
Let’s get into the next opponent they’ll go against. It seems like it’s rivalry after rivalry for the Niners, coming back from the legion of boom era rivalry back in the early 2010s, to the golden age of the Cowboys vs 49ers long-term rivalry from the 80s and 90s. It is a compelling matchup between two teams who without a doubt are playing their best football. This would mark back-to-back years where they face each other in the playoffs. These are obviously under different circumstances and a different environment than last year. This is a matchup that will be well fought in the trenches with key matchups like the first ballot hall of Famer Trent Williams against an absolute force in Micah Parsons. The 49ers and Cowboys yet again take the postseason stage for the ninth time ever. Fresh off a convincing win over the Buccaneers, in Tampa Bay. Dallas comes to the Bay Area with a trip to the NFC Championship on the line for both these teams.