Two weeks ago, Brock Purdy seemed like he was on the hot seat. He actually apologized to the entire 49ers team for committing turnovers that contributed to three straight losses.
Since that mea culpa, Purdy has won his last two games, completed 78.4 percent of his passes, thrown 6 touchdown passes and no interceptions and posted a quarterback rating of 157.3 -- almost as good as it gets. And he did this against two quality defenses -- Jacksonville and Tampa Bay.
Has Purdy officially silenced his haters and critics?
He's getting close. He's throwing long passes downfield he hadn't completed in the past. He's not the kind of quarterback who can throw a 70-yard Hail Mary, but the 49ers don't need him to do that. What they ask him to do, he's more than capable of doing.
But he still has one more thing he needs to do to silence his critics for good.
Purdy needs to show he can play well when he's trailing. When he's winning, he's great. His quarterback rating is 127.8, his completion percentage is 71.3, and his interception percentage is zero.
When Purdy is trailing this season, his quarterback rating drops to 82, his completion percentage drops to 63.9, and his interception percentage balloons to 5.6.
Purdy seems to be a completely different quarterback when he's losing. Because in those situations, he can't lean on the run game and the play-action passing game as much. He has to drop back and throw. And that's not what he does best, nor is it what the offense does best. He's much better using play action.
Fortunately for Purdy, he almost never trails, because he's good and so are the 49ers. But he'll trail eventually, just as he did during the 49ers' three losses.
How he responds will define him.