SANTA CLARA, Calif – After Brock Purdy threw three touchdowns in last week’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 49ers quarterback continued his streak by tossing another three scores to leadin San Francisco to a 27-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers (7-3) appear to be back to their early season form when they started the season 5-0. The offense produced 420 yards and held a time of possession edge of 30:19 to 29:09.
Purdy finished 21 for 25 passing for 333 yards for a perfect 158.3 passer rating. The perfect passer rating, is a first for a San Francisco starting quarterback since Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Steve Young who accomplished that feat in 1989.
“We had to get back to ‘We’re going to take it,’” Purdy said. “That’s the chip I was talking about. We had to get back to that.”
After throwing five interceptions during the 49ers’ three-game losing streak, Purdy has protected the football and has played clean the last two weeks.
“Brock’s been great because he’s been consistent through it all,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan postgame. “I never felt any difference with Brock during those three losses. I think he’s pretty realistic so he doesn’t get into stuff that’s not that accurate.”
After forcing the Buccaneers to punt on their first drive following a quick 3-and-out, Purdy engineered a 12-play, 80-yard drive culminating in a 4-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Christian McCaffrey for the game’s first score in the opening quarter.
“Yeah, it was a great call, honestly,” said McCaffrey of the touchdown. “It was a perfect play call for the defense that they were in, Brock did a good job, protection held up and I got it in.”
McCaffrey, who saw his touchdown scoring streak come to an end last week at 17 games, finished with 103 total yards from scrimmage on 26 touches (21 carries for 78 yards rushing, 5 catches for 26 yards receiving.) McCaffrey has scored a touchdown in 18 of his last 19 games.
“It felt good. Anytime you score it feels good,” McCaffrey said.
Following a forced fumble by Fred Warner on Tampa’s quarterback Baker Mayfield, the ball was recovered by defensive end Clelin Ferrell. The 49ers went up 10-0 after Jake Moody connected on a 37-yard field goal.
The Bucs cut San Francisco’s lead to 10-7 on a 1-yard touchdown score from Mayfield to wide receiver Mike Evans capping off a 10-play, 75-yard drive late in the second quarter.
Mayfield finished 29 for 45 passing for 246 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
“It’s a loss first and foremost,” Mayfield said. “The thing I’d look at is I’ve consistently said in some of these games later in the game that we’ve continued to fight and that’s never changed…we need to find a way to win.”
The 49ers took a 13-7 lead into the locker room at halftime behind a 28-yard field goal by Moody.
For the second straight week, San Francisco controlled the game with a big pass play from Purdy on the opening drive of the second half. He connected with tight end George Kittle for a 66-yard touchdown score that broke Jacksonville’s spirit on the second play from scrimmage.
The 49ers forced a punt by Tampa on their first possession of the third quarter that pinned the San Francisco at their own 2-yard line. After a short run by McCaffrey and a 21-yard completion to Kittle, Purdy lobbed up a deep pass to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, beating the Bucs cornerback Jamel Dean, for a 76-yard touchdown that gave the 49ers a 20-7 lead.odd
“We gave up the deep ball. They scored, they went 98 yards on three plays,” Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said. “They got a bootleg that we blew and man coverage obviously. They didn’t get hands on him at the line. They beat him [Dean]. It’s a credit to him [Aiyuk]. He’s a great receiver, we know that, but we feel like we play man coverage very well and sometimes they beat us.”
Aiyuk finished with five catches for 156 yards. The 49ers are getting back to playing complimentary football at the right time and the wins are beginning to stack again following a three-game losing streak.
“Yeah. Everybody was coming out here, working every week, trying to get better and put good things on tape on Sunday,” said Aiyuk postgame. “Two wins in a row now, so we’re happy about that.”
On San Francisco’s next possession, Purdy led another scoring drive that ended with a 3-yard strike to Kittle that put the 49ers ahead 27-7. Kittle hauled in a team-high eight catches for 89 yards.
Even after being sacked four times by Tampa’s defense, Purdy wasn’t fazed or rattled by the pressure.
“That was our game plan. Just get him off his rhythm and hit him early,” Buccaneers rookie outside linebacker Yaya Diaby said. “We were able to do that, but he was able to do a couple of things, so we just have to do better.”
Tampa Bay (4-6) scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Rachaad White but had little answers for a Niners defense that held the Buccaneers to 287 yards of total offense. The defense registered four sacks and two takeaways today following its five-sack, four-turnover performance in Week 10.
Warner finished with a team-high 12 tackles (10 solo) and combined with fellow linebacker Dre Greenlaw for a sack. Defensive lineman Nick Bosa, Chase Young and Arik Armstead each recorded a sack today.
Young, who made his debut in front of the home crowd in his second game as a member of the 49ers, has seemingly fit perfectly in the defensive equation.
“It felt great,” said Young. “Great energy. It just feels good out here. The air. Just everything. It feels great. I have been blessed with the opportunity and I am trying to take full advantage.”
The defense took a hit when Pro Bowl safety Talanoa Hufanga injured his knee in the third quarter. Hufanga was taken back to the locker room on a cart. The concern is he tore his ACL. He’s set for an MRI on Monday. Rookie safety Ji’Ayir Brown stepped in for Hufanga and made an immediate impact, recording his first career interception in the end zone on the Bucs final possession.
“Someone just said over there [in the locker room] and it’s the same way I feel, the biggest thing you can ask is for a young guy to be ready,” Brown said. “Every week, I’ve been preparing for that day. I never knew when that day was going to come, but I was just preparing consistently every day.”
The 49ers don’t have too much time to revel in their victory, as the team travels to Seattle for a Thanksgiving night encounter with their bitter division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night.
Pro Bowl safety Talanoa Hufanga did not return the game after being carted off the field in the second half.
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