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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Mr. Relevant: Rookie QB Brock Purdy comes off the bench to lead 49ers to 33-17 win over Dolphins

Dec 4, 2022 at 4:25 PM

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
MIA 7 3 0 7 17
SF 10 7 6 10 33

When quarterback Brock Purdy was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, he was expected by many to spend the season on the practice squad while Trey Lance and then-backup Nate Sudfeld held down the team's quarterback duties.

But, as was seen earlier this season when Jimmy Garoppolo found himself as the starter after a season-ending injury to Lance, expect the unexpected when it comes to the quarterback position in the Bay Area.

Purdy came off the bench on Sunday after Garoppolo left the game with a foot injury and delivered in big-time fashion, leading the 49ers to a crucial 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. Purdy finished with 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 25-of-37 passing, becoming the first quarterback picked with the final selection in the draft to throw a touchdown in an NFL game and lead a team to a win.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa put up an inconsistent performance for the Dolphins, finishing with 295 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a lost fumble on 18-of-33 passing.

First Half

It took all of ten seconds for the Dolphins to take a 7-0 lead, courtesy of a 75-yard touchdown strike from Tagovailoa to former 49ers wide receiver Trent Sherfield. After the Dolphins opened the game with a touchback, Tagovailoa found Sherfield open for a short completion, then Sherfield outran the defense for his second touchdown of the season.

The 49ers answered with a nine-play, 54-yard drive that ended with a 47-yard field goal from Robbie Gould to cut their deficit to 7-3. A 23-yard completion to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and a 33-yard completion to Christian McCaffrey helped move the 49ers inside the Dolphins' 20-yard line, but a third down sack from linebackers Jerome Baker and Jaelan Phillips moved the 49ers backwards and took Garoppolo out of the game in the process. Garoppolo was carted off the field and replaced by Purdy on the 49ers' next possession.

After a three-and-out from the Dolphins, Purdy and the 49ers took over at their own 46-yard line and put together another scoring drive, this one ending with a touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk to give the 49ers a 10-7 lead. The drive was kept alive three plays earlier when the Dolphins were flagged for pass interference on a 3rd-and-10 from the 29-yard line, then after two runs from McCaffrey, Purdy found Juszczyk for the first touchdown pass of his NFL career.

Another three-and-out led to the 49ers taking over at their own 28-yard line following a 63-yard punt, then the 49ers punted back to the Dolphins after a four-play possession that moved the ball to midfield. The Dolphins engineered a 12-play, 65-yard drive that moved inside the 49ers' 20-yard line, but a third down sack from defensive end Nick Bosa forced the Dolphins to attempt a field goal from kicker Jason Sanders, which was good from 43 yards to tie the game at 10 early in the second quarter.

The teams traded three and outs after the field goal, then the 49ers put together a six-play possession that moved them to a 4th-and-4 at the Dolphins' 39-yard line. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan decided to go for a first down on the play, but Purdy was picked off by cornerback Xavien Howard to give the Dolphins the ball at the 19-yard line.

Another third down sack from Bosa forced the Dolphins to punt after four plays, then the 49ers took over at their own 24-yard line with 2:47 left in the half. That was just enough time for Purdy to lead his second touchdown drive of the game, an 11-play, 76-yard possession that ended with a 3-yard scoring pass to McCaffrey. Purdy completed passes of 19 yards to tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Jauan Jennings on the drive before an 18-yard pass to McCaffrey set the 49ers up with a 1st-and-Goal at the 5. After a two-yard run from McCaffrey and an incompletion on second down, Purdy hooked up with McCaffrey to take a 17-10 lead with four seconds left on the clock.

Purdy finished the half with 116 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while the 49ers outgained the Dolphins 224 yards to 157. The 49ers held a 16-6 edge on first downs and converted 4-of-8 on third downs while the Dolphins converted 0-of-5. Tagovailoa was erratic in the first half, missing a number of passes en route to an 8-of-18 finish for 162 yards and one touchdown.

Second Half

The 49ers opened the second half with a punt after a six-play possession, then helped the Dolphins flip the field by committing a a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the punt followed by a 15-yard roughing the passer call on Bosa that was added on to a 19-yard completion to Tyreek Hill. But after two penalties on the Dolphins moved them into a 1st-and-25, Tagovailoa's rough performance continued when he tossed a pass into the arms of safety Jimmie Ward, who made a dazzling catch to give the 49ers the ball at their own 36.

Purdy led the 49ers downfield on a 12-play, 39-yard drive after the interception that ended in a 43-yard field goal from Gould to open up a 20-10 lead, then Tagovailoa's day went from bad to worse. On the first play of the next possession, Tagovailoa sailed a pass out of the reach of Hill and into the arms of 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir, who gave the 49ers possession at the the Dolphins' 25-yard line. The 49ers were held to another field goal from Gould, this one from 36 yards to extend the lead to 23-10.

Tagovailoa rebounded on the next possession, showing why a 13-point lead is far from safe against the potent Dolphins' offense. Tagovailoa opened the drive with three straight completions, then connected with a wide open Hill on the second play of the fourth quarter for a 45-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 23-17.

The 49ers punted after six plays on their next possession, then the Dolphins took over at their own 10-yard line with 11:10 left in the game. The Dolphins marched 10 plays in 54 yards (including a successful 4th-and-1 conversion from their own 19) before facing a 4th-and-2 from the 49ers' 36-yard line, then linebacker Dre Greenlaw broke up a pass attempt to tight end Mike Gesicki to force a turnover on downs with six minutes remaining.

The 49ers responded with a 10-play, 34-yard drive that took 3:57 off the clock and ate up all of the Dolphins' timeouts before extending their lead to 26-17 on a 48-yard field goal from Gould. The 49ers got a clutch 30-yard run from McCaffrey to move to the 11-yard line but moved backwards after a sack and a holding penalty on Kittle before Gould delivered with 2:03 to play. But, if Gould's field goal wasn't enough, the 49ers defense iced the game on the next play when a strip sack from Bosa forced a fumble that was recovered by Greenlaw and taken into the end zone for a touchdown and a 33-17 lead.

Linebacker Fred Warner finished off the Dolphins on their final possession, intercepting a pass from backup quarterback Skylar Thompson with 1:53 to play. The win moves the 49ers to 8-4 on the season and leaves them with a one-game lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. The Dolphins drop to 8-4 on the season with the loss.

Game Notes: Per ESPN, today's game marked just the fourth time in NFL history when one team (the Dolphins) scored 30 or more points in each of their previous four games while the other (the 49ers) allowed 16 points or less in each of their previous four games... Tagovailoa's interceptions were his first since September... The fourth quarter touchdown pass to Hill snapped a streak of four consecutive scoreless second halves for the 49ers defense... The Dolphins entered the game with an 8-6-1 all-time record against the 49ers with wins in four of the previous five games in the series... Next up for the 49ers is a Sunday afternoon home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT, FOX), while the Dolphins will stay on the road for a Sunday night contest against the Los Angeles Chargers (8:20 p.m. ET/5:20 p.m. PT, NBC).

MIA Team Stats SF
275 Passing Yards 230
33 Rushing Yards 121
308 Total Yards 351
8.68 Avg Yards per Pass 6.49
4.13 Avg Yards per Run 3.56
1 Fumbles Lost 0
3 Int Thrown 1
3 Sacks Allowed 4
00:19:26 Time of Pos 00:40:34
8 Penalties 4

Dolphins Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Tua Tagovailoa 18/33 295 2 2
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Raheem Mostert 7 30 4.3 0
Jeff Wilson 1 3 3 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Tyreek Hill 9 14 146 1
Trent Sherfield 1 3 75 1
River Cracraft 2 3 29 0
Durham Smythe 2 2 21 0
Alec Ingold 3 4 15 0
Jaylen Waddle 1 5 9 0
Mike Gesicki 0 1 0 0
Jeff Wilson 0 2 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Tua Tagovailoa 1 1
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Jason Sanders 1 1 43 2
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Thomas Morstead 4 51.5 0 63
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Raheem Mostert 25 25 0 25
Durham Smythe 9 9 0 9
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ced Wilson 2 10.5 0 14
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Christian Wilkins 8-4 0 0 1
Jerome Baker 6-6 0.5 0 0
Jevon Holland 5-2 0 0 0
Zach Sieler 5-2 0.5 0 0
Eric Rowe 3-2 0 0 0
Xavien Howard 3-0 0 1 0
Elandon Roberts 2-2 0 0 0
John Jenkins 2-1 0 0 0
Keion Crossen 2-1 0 0 0
Bradley Chubb 2-1 1 0 0
Elijah Campbell 2-0 0 0 0
Jaelan Phillips 1-2 0.5 0 0
Duke Riley 1-1 0 0 0
Clayton Fejedelem 1-0 0 0 0
Trent Sherfield 1-0 0 0 0
Alec Ingold 1-0 0 0 0
Melvin Ingram 1-0 1 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Jimmy Garoppolo 2/4 56 0 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Christian McCaffrey 17 66 3.9 0
Deebo Samuel 4 5 1.3 0
Kyle Juszczyk 1 0 0 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Christian McCaffrey 8 10 80 1
Deebo Samuel 6 10 58 0
Brandon Aiyuk 5 9 46 0
Jauan Jennings 2 4 34 0
George Kittle 2 3 22 0
Tyler Kroft 1 1 14 0
Kyle Juszczyk 3 3 12 1
Fumbles Fum Lost
Jauan Jennings 1 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Robbie Gould 4 4 48 3
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 4 44.5 2 56
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 50 25 0 31
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 2 17 0 20
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Dre Greenlaw 7-1 0 0 0
Jimmie Ward 4-1 0 1 0
Tashaun Gipson 3-0 0 0 0
Nick Bosa 3-0 3 0 1
Fred Warner 2-1 0 1 0
George Odum 2-0 0 0 0
Hassan Ridgeway 1-2 0 0 0
Samson Ebukam 1-0 0 0 0
Oren Burks 1-0 0 0 0
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 1-0 0 0 0
Kevin Givens 1-0 0 0 0
Talanoa Hufanga 1-0 0 0 0
Deommodore Lenoir 1-0 0 1 0

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