Brock Purdy had another excellent day through the air, throwing for three touchdowns in leading the San Francisco 49ers to a convincing 27-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Purdy finished 21 of 25 for 333 yards with three touchdowns — a perfect 158.3 passer rating — becoming the first 49ers quarterback (with at least 15 pass attempts) to do that since Hall of Famer Joe Montana in 1989.
Brilliant for the 49ers once again, Purdy threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk in the third quarter to get the 49ers’ lead to double digits — a cushion San Francisco wouldn’t give up. That was career-long touchdown throw for Purdy, breaking his previous career best set last week. This was the second consecutive week Purdy threw three-plus touchdown passes, the first time in the regular season he’s had consecutive games of three or more touchdown passes (accomplished the feat in the regular season and playoffs last year).
The Buccaneers did threaten to cut the 49ers’ lead twice in the fourth quarter, but rookie Ji’Ayir Brown made the two biggest plays of the day on defense. Brown broke up a fourth-down pass to Mike Evans in the end zone to stall a Tampa Bay drive with San Francisco up two scores and had an interception on a tipped pass in the end zone on the Buccaneers’ next possession that kept the score 27-14 — essentially sealing the win for the 49ers.
Just one week after having his consecutive touchdown streak snapped at 17, Christian McCaffrey started a new one for the 49ers. McCaffrey scored on a 4-yard pass from Purdy for the 49ers’ first score of the game as he has 24 combined touchdowns in 21 career games with the 49ers. McCaffrey finished with 103 scrimmage yards, making his impact on the game early. Aiyuk had five catches for 156 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Mayfield finished 29 of 45 for 246 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Buccaneers (76.7 rating). Tampa Bay rushed for only 66 yards, averaging 3.7 yards per carry. The Buccaneers were able to move the ball down the field in the second half, but couldn’t score in the red zone (1 of 3).
Below is a recap and takeaways of the 49ers’ victory.
Why the 49ers won
Purdy had arguably his best game as the 49ers quarterback, and he’s had some really good ones in his brief career. He finished with a 158.3 passer rating, the first 49ers quarterback to have a perfect passer rating since Joe Montana in 1989 (min. 15 attempts). Not only was Purdy precise with his passes, but he had a clean pocket throughout the day as his receivers (mainly Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle) created plenty of spacing. At 13.3 yards per attempt, Purdy was the first quarterback to average 11-plus yards per attempt in three straight games since Kurt Warner in 1999. When Purdy is on, the 49ers are tough to beat.
Why the Buccaneers lost
The offense just isn’t consistent enough to score points. Tampa Bay fought back to make the game interesting in the fourth quarter, but wouldn’t have been in that hole with a punt and a lost fumble on its first two possessions to start the game. In the first three quarters, the Buccaneers punted three times, lost a fumble, and scored a touchdown. Entering the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay had 168 total yards. The hole was just too big to dig out of, doomsday facing a team as talented as the 49ers.
Purdy’s 76-yard pass to Brandon Aiyuk put the 49ers up 20-7 with 10:54 remaining in the third quarter, capping a three-play drive that went 98 yards. The Buccaneers punted after getting the ball to start the second half, downing the 49ers at their own 2-yard line. Purdy went to George Kittle for 21 yards before finding Aiyuk for the score, the longest touchdown pass of his career.
The 49ers looked like they could give the ball right back to the Buccaneers, Instead they flexed how strong they were on offense and took control of the game.
Play of the game
49ers rookie Ji’Ayir Brown made the two biggest plays of the day on defense. Brown broke up a fourth-down pass to Mike Evans in the end zone to stall a Tampa Bay drive with San Francisco up two scores and had an interception on a tipped pass in the end zone on the Buccaneers’ next possession that kept the score 27-14 — essentially sealing the win for the 49ers.
The Buccaneers turned the ball over on downs in the red zone and Bayer Mayfield threw his first red zone interception in four years — thanks to Brown. He was the reason Tampa Bay couldn’t get back in the game.
“Brock’s a solid, really good quarterback. But I don’t know if he can run a 4.3.” – 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan after the game if there was anything Brock Purdy can’t do.
The 49ers (7-3) travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks on Thanksgiving with first place in the NFC West at stake. The Buccaneers (4-6) head to Indianapolis to face the Colts next Sunday.