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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Natalie Miller

The last time Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy faced off, it was a fireworks show

This Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers will battle it out for the chance to make an appearance in the Super Bowl.

They’re both lead by dynamo quarterbacks with compelling storylines, both of whom have traveled unique paths to arrive at this game.

The last pick in the 2022 NFL draft, San Francisco rookie quarterback Brock Purdy earned the third-string job coming into the season, before injuries to starter Trey Lance and veteran star Jimmy Garoppolo forced him into action in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins.

Since that moment, Purdy has shown flashes of brilliance, leading the team to an undefeated record since he took over under center, and averaging a quarterback rating well over 100 during that time. This includes the playoffs, as well, where he was lights-out against the Seattle Seahawks, and maintained steady play last week against the Dallas Cowboys.

Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts started his journey after being drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, a pick that wasn’t without controversy, considering the Eagles still had Carson Wentz as their starter.

Hurts saw the field in his rookie year due to injuries, and showed enough flashes for the team to ultimately move on from Wentz and give him the reins to the offense. He progressed well over his two years as the full-time starter, and this season, entered his name into the MVP conversation by notching 35 total touchdowns on the year.

This isn’t the first time these two have met up against each other, however.

They faced off back in 2019, when Hurts’ Oklahoma Sooners played Purdy’s Iowa State Cyclones. That late-season game was a surprise tilt, with both quarterbacks completely taking over the game in a 42-41 shootout.

While Purdy didn’t ultimately come away with the win, it is hard to fault his performance, given he put up over 300 yards and six total touchdowns against the Sooners defense in what may have been the best game of his college career. Hurts was no slouch in the win, either, also delivering over 300 yards and five total touchdowns through the ground and air.

NFL fans can only hope to see those kinds of fireworks again this Sunday when these two matchup again after three years, though the stature of both teams’ defenses make a shootout unlikely this time around.

What’s certain is that both of these quarterbacks have made the most of their opportunities to shine under the bright lights, and have a chance to do it yet again on a huge stage, with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line this time.

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