49ers Blow Out Bucs

By Terrance Turner

Dec. 11, 2022

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Today the San Francisco 49ers faced off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what we thought would be a competitive match. With quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo injured, the starting job went to Brock Purdy. He was drafted number 199 in the NFL draft, but the man known as “Mr. Irrelevant” was anything but. Today, Purdy proved he richly deserved his job. With the help of a star-studded cast – tight end George Kittle, running back Deebo Samuel and RB Christian McCaffrey — Purdy shined.

1st Half

The scoring started right away when Purdy passed to Samuel. He skirted down the sideline, dashed past defenders, and ran right into a photographer on his way to a touchdown. Then he stepped over the photographer to celebrate!

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Subsequently, Tampa Bay continued to struggle offensively. According to CBS sports, kicker Ryan Succop attempted a 55 yard field goal and it wasn’t even close. The ball sailed right. And Bucs defensive lineman Vita Vea was downgraded to doubtful with a back injury. And it got worse.

Tom Brady aired it out, finding receiver Mike Evans for a 68-yard touchdown. But that score got negated because of a holding penalty by Donovan Smith. It was 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter

Purdy started the second quarter with some scoring of his own. Finding nobody open in the end zone he decided to run it himself, rushing in for a touchdown. 49ers led 14-0.

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Purdy’s family was watching from the stands. After watching his son score his first rushing touchdown, Purdy’s father wiped away tears:

After a Bucs punt, the 49ers offense kept rolling. Party past short right to Samuel for 18 yards and two plays later Samuel rushed for 10 more. The nine play drive ended when Purdy passed deep left to Christian McCaffrey for a 27-yard touchdown. But the good times came to a screeching halt on their next drive.

After another Bucs punt, San Francisco took over. Samuel ran up the middle for three yards. But Tampa Bay defenders swarmed him. Samuel got bent backwards, fumbled the ball, and suffered a leg injury. He laid on the ground, clutching his knee.

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers is injured during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

He stayed on the turf for several minutes.Samuel was in tears by the time he was carted off the field. Initial reports say that he suffered an ankle injury and that it’s not particularly serious.But Tampa Bay couldn’t capitalize on that turnover. They wound up turning the ball over on downs. The 49ers took possession and took control with a seven play, 91-yard drive. Purdy tossed to Aiyuk for the touchdown.

49ers led 28-0 at the half. Brady was furious.

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Second Half

The third quarter brought more misery for Tampa Bay. Tom Brady hit his hand on the helmet of a 49ers defender. Then on the following play he got intercepted by Tashaun Gipson.

San Francisco took over inside Tampa Bay territory. On the first play after the pick, Christian McCaffrey got the handoff and raced all the way into the end zone for his second touchdown of the day.

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SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers runs the ball for a touchdown during the third quarter of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Battered and beleaguered, Brady tried to lift his team out of its rut. But with 9:51 remaining in the third quarter, he threw a short pass, which got tipped and picked off by 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw.

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That pick essentially sealed the game for the 49ers. San Francisco wasn’t able to cash in in the turnover, but it was a blow from which the Bucs would never recover.

Tampa Bay eventually found the end zone. The Bucs took over midway through the third quarter and moved downfield. On 2nd and goal, Brady threw to Julio Jones. The ball got deflected and then caught by Russell Gage. Bizarrely, Gage managed to catch the ball on one knee before it touched the ground. And then he fell backwards into the end zone.

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But it was too late to mount a comeback. San Francisco shut out Tampa Bay in a scoreless 4th quarter.

Postgame

The 49ers won, 35-7. This is their sixth straight win. They now stand at 9-4. Brock Purdy finished 16 of 21 for two touchdowns and no interceptions. He becomes the first quarterback ever to win his first start against Tom Brady.

“I grew up watching him, seeing him make plays and win Super Bowls,” Purdy told FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews after the team’s 35-7 win. “So, to be out on the same field and being able to compete against one another, it’s literally a dream come true. Very blessed, and I’m honored to play against him.”

The Buccaneers fall to 6-7. Brady suffered one of his worst games, throwing for just one touchdown and two interceptions. But after the game, 49ers LB Dre Greenlaw came up to Brady to have his ball signed.

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