One of the things you’ll hear over and over this week is that Brock Purdy has never played in an environment like the one he’ll face at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon.
It’s impossible to know this without going to every other road venue he’s played in, but one demonstrably true thing is that the stakes have never been higher for the 23-year-old rookie. Standing between him and the Super Bowl is 70 thousand drunken Philadelphia mongrels, so we’ll find out what he has in the composure and steadiness department.
Here’s the list of road games Purdy has played in both the NFL and at the college level with Iowa State, in descending order starting with most recent:
- at Las Vegas (NFL)
- at Seattle (NFL)
- at Carolina (NFL)
- at Oklahoma
- at Texas Tech
- at West Virginia
- at Kansas State
- at Baylor
- at UNLV
- at Texas
- at Kansas
- at Oklahoma State
- at TCU
Then you’ve got the following neutral site games:
- vs. Clemson, Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium, Orlando
- vs. Oregon, Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium, Glendale
- vs. Oklahoma, Big 12 Championship Game, Arlington
- vs. Notre Dame, also at Camping World in Orlando
- vs. Washington State, Alamo Bowl in San Antonio
Okay, so the first thought I had was that Brock Purdy had to go play at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, for the in-state Hawkeyes/Cyclones game. It turns out that he did not. It looks like he was not yet the starter in early 2018, and then the 2020 road game was cancelled due to COVID, so Purdy played Iowa twice, but both games were at home, in Ames.
Beyond that, I’ve been to three of these road venues – Texas, Oklahoma, and WVU – and can say without a doubt that none are more intimidating than Lincoln Financial Field. DKR and OU were fantastic and high-capacity, but the fans were so nice and accommodating that you would call it anything but a hostile environment. Mountaineer Field used to be a challenge for opposing teams, but we suck now, so go figure.
Taking all of that into consideration, I’d think the Big 12 Championship Game, Fiesta Bowl, and Notre Dame and Clemson bowl games were probably the best environments Purdy has played in, though Iowa State had a large contingent at each of those. Maybe the Seattle road game featured the best NFL crowd he’s faced away from Santa Clara.
Maybe we can get some feedback from people who have been to these stadiums, but my incomplete take is that the Linc is going to be Purdy’s toughest test ever.