The NFC Championship game between the Eagles and 49ers saw history being made for the wrong reasons. Brock Purdy, the third-string quarterback, started the game with a 7-0 record in the NFL. However, his arm injury during the 49ers’ first possession forced him to leave the field and resulted in a record low number of pass attempts in a loss in a championship game, with only 18 attempts.
Purdy and Johnson injuries lead to record low number of pass attempts
With the Eagles losing its first two starting quarterbacks to injury for the season, Brock Purdy, the third-string quarterback, started the NFC Championship game. Despite Purdy’s 7-0 record going into the game, he suffered an elbow injury on the 49ers’ first possession, forcing him to leave the field.
The San Francisco 49ers set a record-low with 18 pass attempts for a losing team in the conference championship round.
The record was previously held by the 1972 Pittsburgh Steelers with 20 attempts. pic.twitter.com/A7BjDu71be
— Football Outsiders (@fboutsiders) January 30, 2023
Josh Johnson, the fourth-string quarterback, stepped in but was quickly forced out of the game due to a suspected concussion. Purdy was forced to reenter the game, but his arm injury prevented him from throwing the ball effectively.
“I couldn’t throw a for more than five yards,” Purdy said of his injury. Purdy described the pain as extending from his elbow to his wrist.
There were several other candidates to take over the quarterback position, including Christian McCaffrey, who looked like he was set to run a wildcat offense before Purdy reentered. However, the 49ers stuck with a banged-up Purdy, who could not sling it, and settled for handing the ball off for almost the entire second half.
This resulted in a record low number of passing attempts in a loss in a championship game, with only 18 passes attempted. This broke the previous record set by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1972 with 20 passes. Given that the 49ers were trailing for a majority of the game, this number shows how bleak the situation was.
It is the lowest number of attempted passes in a losing performance since 2020 when the Denver Broncos lost to the New Orleans Saints. That day, Kendall Hinton completed just one pass of nine attempts as the Broncos went down 31-3.
The Eagles eventually ran out 31-7 winners and will head to the Super Bowl to face the Kansas City Chiefs.