It was the bobble heard ’round the world, or at least the Bay Area.

In the middle of the third quarter of the San Francisco 49ers’ Divisional Round victory over the Dallas Cowboys, quarterback Brock Purdy threw a 30-yard pass to George Kittle, a pass that was very much bobbled – “it seemed like it was 10 seconds of bobbling,” Purdy said – before Kittle made an incredible catch that got the sluggish offense going.

“It was that time or that part of the game, we needed something, we needed a spark, get the ball rolling and for Kittle to make a play like that, you just feel it in the whole stadium,” Purdy said. “Like, man, that felt good, to get a big gain like that and get us going. So you know, props to Kittle, he was one of our like, last options in that play, but he kept the play alive by feeling space and I got my eyes back and he was there, so it was awesome.”

For Kittle’s part, he said, “He gave me a catchable ball and I was just trying to be dramatic.”

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The pass was part of a 91-yard touchdown drive that started with the game tied 9-9 and ended with a two-yard touchdown run from Christian McCaffrey to put the 49ers up 16-9.

“Brock is a good quarterback who keeps his eyes up when a play is falling apart,” Kittle said. “His number one read wasn’t open. His number two wasn’t open. And for him to look back inside and see a white glove fly up and give me a shot at the ball? That’s just really good quarterback play.”

With the 19-12 win, the 49ers won the game and a trip Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in the NFC Championship game next Sunday.

“Really good quarterback play” has become the norm for Purdy, who has had a 115.1 passer rating and been responsible for 18 touchdowns since taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13. Purdy saw a little adversity in last week’s Wild Card win over the Seattle Seahawks and a lot of adversity against a tough Cowboys’ defense Sunday. But, when the 49ers needed him, the QB came through.

“We had a feeling it was going to be this type of game and that’s why we were stressing the run game on both sides and stressing to protect the ball and try to get turnovers and we accomplished both of those things,” said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. “And when you do that stuff, you still have to make a number of plays…It’s tough to do those without the quarterback, so he made some big time plays too.”

Purdy finished the day 19-of-29 for 214 yards, a rating of 87.4, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions, and it’s that last one that mattered, like a lot. In a game that saw Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott throw two interceptions that led to six 49ers’ points, winning the turnover battle was huge.

“For him to keep showing up, playing football and leading us, he’s doing a great job,” said wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.”

The only mistake could be chalked up to a rookie mistake, when with seven seconds left in the first half, it was 6-6 and the 49ers had second down at the Dallas 32-yard line. Instead of quickly throwing the ball away when his first and only read wasn’t open, Purdy looked left and right and got rid of the ball with one second left.

“I looked left, I didn’t see, our read was covered,” Purdy said. “So, I thought I had a little bit more time than I had in terms of looking back right to Deebo [Samuel]. And obviously it was a pretty close call, so I’ve just got to be better with, if it’s not there, throw the ball away. So, [Shanahan] coached me up on and got on me, rightfully so.”

The one second was enough for Robbie Gould 50-yard field goal, but there was stress.

“Oh, dear,” Kittle said with a smile after the game. “That was stressful wasn’t it? Because I’m blocking on that and I turned around and he’s still scrambling and I’m like, ‘Why, do you still have the ball?’ Rookies, rookies, rookies.”

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The game was a defensive battle that saw 36 total first downs, 594 total yards, six field goals and two touchdowns. And yes, those numbers are for both teams combined.

Linebacker Fred Warner had an incredible day with nine total tackles, one pass defended, a tackle for loss and an interception that was tipped to him by Jimmie Ward.

“That was huge by Jimmie,” Warner said. “He made a big time play in a big moment. I was kind of in one-on-one coverage with [Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb] and he worked away from me. Jimmie was kind of squatting over there and broke on the ball. It popped up and he gave me the assist on that one.”

The other 49ers interception came courtesy of cornerback Deommodore Lenoir early in the game. Nick Bosa did Nick Bosa things and accounted for one quarterback hit and one tackle for loss.

And so the beat the goes one. Two wins down. Two to go. Next stop: Philly.


Tracy Sandler

Tracy Sandler

I created Fangirl Sports Network as a place for female sports fans to follow their favorite teams with content and coverage that speaks directly to females. It started with one and then eight and now 32 NFL Fangirls and 15 NBA Fangirls.