The second-year quarterback who led San Francisco to a come-from-behind victory in the NFC Championship Sunday — and thus into the Super Bowl — says he leaned on his faith in God when his team trailed by 17 points and prayed at one point: “Win or lose, I’m gonna glorify You.”
San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy completed 20 of 31 passes for 267 yards and one touchdown, helping the 49ers rally from a 24-7 deficit to defeat Detroit 34-31. San Francisco will play Kansas City in Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11.
Purdy will be the third-youngest quarterback to start a Super Bowl. His rise-to-success story has captivated fans and NFL observers. He was the very last pick in the 2022 NFL draft — pick No. 262 out of 262 selections — but has guided the 49ers to two straight NFC title game appearances. He played at Iowa State.
After Sunday’s victory, Purdy was asked in a news conference to reflect on his football journey.
“I honestly think this is a testament to God and where He’s taking me in life. I’ve never been the biggest, the fastest, the strongest, or any of that,” said Purdy, who is listed at six feet, one inch. “I feel like I’ve always sort of had to fight for what I get and work for what I get. But God’s always given me an opportunity, whether that was in high school, college, and then obviously in the NFL.
“Getting drafted last — people you know, overlook you and all that kind of stuff. And then all you need is an opportunity. …I put my faith and trust in Him and He’s gotten me where I’m at.”
The last person picked in the NFL draft is often nicknamed “Mr. Irrelevant.” In 2022, he started the season as the 49ers’ third-string quarterback but became the starter that December due to a string of injuries.
Purdy said he and his teammates were calm in the locker room at halftime, though trailing by three scores.
“So when I’m down 17 at half, honestly, I’m just thinking, alright God, You’ve taken me here. And win or lose, I’m gonna glorify You. And that’s my peace. That’s the joy. That’s the steadfastness. That’s where I get it from. And that’s the truth. So I lean into that. And sure enough, we were able to come back.”
Purdy also referenced his faith during a post-game interview on the nationally televised broadcast on Fox.
“Glory to God,” Purdy said. “He’s given us this opportunity.”
“First of all Glory to God.”
— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) January 29, 2024
Purdy’s Twitter and Instagram bios say “Believer in Christ” and “Follower of Christ,” respectively. His Twitter bio includes a Bible verse, Colossians 3:23, as his profile pic: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
“My identity is in Jesus,” Purdy said.
“It was just a great reminder of where my identity is, where it lies,” Purdy told the Sports Spectrum Podcast. “And it’s in Jesus. And I continue to lean on Him. Again, the next day I didn’t go out and throw for 500 yards and was this awesome quarterback, but it was just this peace that I had with Him knowing that, ‘Hey, no matter what I’m going to face moving forward during college football, God and Jesus are going to be my identity. And whatever I face, I won’t be shaken from it.’ I’ve got a great foundation in Him.”
Image credit: ©Getty Images / Thearon W. Henderson /
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star, and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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