Former 49ers coach makes audacious Brock Purdy-Jimmy Garoppolo playoff prediction

Despite having third-string quarterback Brock Purdy take the helm in place of injured starters Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, the 10-4 San Francisco 49ers are a top team in

the NFL. Reports have surfaced about the team's hopes for a return from Jimmy G in time for the playoffs, but former Niners head coach Steve Mariucci thinks Kyle Shanahan would be

wise to stick with the successful Purdy."If Brock Purdy keeps playing like he's playing right now — which is fantastic — I don't see that you change that," said Mariucci, who

coached the Niners from 1997 to 2002."If he's got the hot hand going in, I'm probably going to stick with the hot hand."When first diagnosed, Garoppolo was expected to miss the

rest of the season. But he's making great strides in rehabilitation. It's understandable that the 49ers would like to bring back the quarterback who nearly led them to the Super

Bowl last year, but you also can't ignore what Purdy is doing.Purdy, who was selected with the final choice in the 2022 NFL Draft and was dubbed "Mr. Irrelevant," has excelled at

the QB1 position. Purdy has completed 66.7% of his passes for 678 yards, six touchdowns, and just two interceptions despite having a tonne of weapons at his disposal, including

George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. His confidence is amazing for a rookie who was passed over.The 22-year-old quarterback has passed for more than 200 yards twice in three games since

taking over as the starter for the 49ers, who have won seven straight. Making changes when something is effective is challenging.

Shanahan will have to decide what to do if Garoppolo recovers in time for the postseason.