SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Brock Purdy looked to the clouds and yelled.
He yelled with his whole chest.
No, it was his whole body.
Scratch that, he yelled with his entire soul.
Then the 49ers’ rookie quarterback pounded his chest five times, alternating arms with each beat.
Purdy had just spun out of a sack and made the defining play of the game, a 7-yard touchdown toss to running back Elijah Mitchell to give the 49ers a 31-17 early fourth-quarter lead over the Seahawks in the team’s first-round playoff game.
It was a yell of frustration.
It was a yell of excitement.
It was a yell that reverberated through the entire 49ers roster.
“I love seeing him let his emotion out like that, because he’s a pretty calm, cool, collected guy — not very loud,” 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. “But when he lets it out, it fires you up.”
The touchdown was the start — the spark — of a surge that turned a six-point game into a 41-17 lead. The offense started cruising. The defense suffocated the Seahawks. The breakthrough scramble and throw turned what had been a nervy contest for the 49ers into a blowout win and another playoff game next weekend at Levi’s Stadium against an opponent to be determined.
But the play — and the yell that followed — also perfectly exemplified Purdy, the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft who was thrust into the role of 49ers’ starting quarterback in the middle of a playoff run, amid Super Bowl expectations.
The rookie has surprised the world of football by not j