Kurtenbach: Brock Purdy looks like the second coming of a 49ers villain. That was part of the plan

SANTA CLARA — Don’t pretend you didn’t think it.

You can bury that thought down deep, but it sprouted up as Brock Purdy led the 49ers back on a near-miraculous comeback in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game with deep passes, restless optimism, and two game-changing 21-yard scrambles.

The 49ers’ franchise quarterback (is there any doubt about that now?) sure looked like the second coming of peak Russell Wilson, the 49ers’ longtime boogeyman.

And I know you noticed.

The 49ers sure did.

After years of being unable to beat the black-magic-wielding quarterback, the 49ers decided they needed their own mystic at the most important position in the game.

Cue Purdy, who entered the postseason amid a wave of criticism — some of it even fair — and has, after Sunday’s performance, silenced even his most ardent doubters.

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Not able to lead a comeback? Here’s a brilliant fourth-down drive against the Packers. Didn’t think that was good enough — here’s the best second half you’ll ever see to score 27 unanswered second-half points to go to the Super Bowl.

Game manager? If that’s game management, even Patrick Mahomes (the Niners’ opponent in the Super Bowl and, one day, the man likely to be called the greatest quarterback to ever live) qualifies.

Purdy’s legs made big plays Sunday, but he had some absolute money throws in the second half.

That cross-body alley-oop to Jauan Jennings.

That toss to Kyle Juszczyk, where he spun out of a sack, rolled to his left, and then hit the toe-tapping fullback on the sideline.

That absolute dart to Deebo Samuel for 26 yards that split four Detroit defenders.

That touchdown throw to Brandon Aiyuk where Purdy extended the play by sliding left and then ripped the ball between two collapsing defenders.

It was 10-out-of-10 stuff when nothing less than that would do.

Game manager? Folks were embarrassing themselves with that kind of uninformed talk before the game. If you want to apply that label to Purdy now, you’re exposing yourself as an idiot. If you can’t respect and appreciate what he did on Sunday, football isn’t the sport for you.

Add those game-winning scrambles, and maybe I’ve underestimated Purdy, too. Maybe he’s more Mahomes than Wilson.

But let’s stick with the premise here — Wilson is the comp.

If for no other reason than the accounting of it all.

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These 49ers were built to win it all this season. Things got hairy there in the NFC Playoffs, but they’ll have a chance to do that in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.

The Niners were able to build this incredible roster of superstar players in large part because Purdy — now empirically a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback — makes less money annually from the 49ers than each of the announcers of the game made from FOX. (Yes, all four of them.)

That model — super cheap but highly effective quarterback, and the best team money can buy around him — is the same model that the Legion of Boom Seahawks used to go to back-to-back Super Bowls (winning one and coming one yard away from a second.)

And even after Wilson was paid, breaking up that great Seattle defense, the Seahawks kept winning. Wilson had nine straight winning seasons to start his career, becoming arguably the most cursed name amongst 49ers fans since Kyle Williams.

Seahawks, Packers, and now Lions fans have a head start on the rest of the NFC when it comes to cursing Purdy. I’m sure the Rams and others will catch up soon.

It’s easy to underestimate Purdy — he’s not a Josh Allen-type. He doesn’t have Mahomes’ arm strength. He can’t run like Lamar Jackson. He looks like a team intern when he’s in street clothes. He’s six-foot-nothing and doesn’t have the biggest arm or the fastest feet. And yet, he consistently finds a way to make plays with both his arm and feet and rip the hearts out of opponents.

He’s also humble to the point of corniness, relentlessly optimistic, a big Jesus guy, and on the field, he’s — and I mean this with all due respect — a real [insert expletive here] to play against.

That sure sounds like the second coming of Wilson to me.

That’s strange, unsettling, but brilliant news for the 49ers — Wilson won the Super Bowl in his second year as a starter.

Can Purdy do the same this year? The Niners are favored to win it all.

But a word to the wise: if the Niners follow Wilson and the Seahawks’ lead and go back to the Super Bowl next year, make sure to hand the ball to Christian McCaffrey at the 1-yard line.

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