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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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5 Keys to a 49ers Win Over the Buccaneers in Week 14

Dec 10, 2022 at 10:10 AM--

The red-hot San Francisco 49ers look to extend their five-game winning streak this Sunday at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the recent injury to Jimmy Garoppolo, Brock Purdy is now the quarterback, and if he can replicate his performance against the Miami Dolphins, the 49ers should improve their record to 9-4. Here are some keys the 49ers must commit to defeating the Buccaneers.

Move The Chains

The 49ers will look to establish the run game. The Buccaneers' rush defense is ranked 18th in the league, giving up, on average, 118.4 yards per game. If the Buccaneers load up the box, the 49ers must find other ways to move the chains. Expect Purdy to quickly get the ball out of his hands with quick slants, screen passes, and swing routes. The 49ers had a total of 24 first downs against the Dolphins. Fifteen of those first downs were passing first downs; only two were completions from Jimmy Garoppolo. If the 49ers continue to find ways to move the chains, this will allow the team to control the clock and get red zone attempts.

Zero Giveaways

The 49ers don't want to give the ball to Tom Brady. The 49ers are ranked 14th in the NFL in turnovers (giveaways), seven fumbles, and seven interceptions. Although the Buccaneers' offense is ranked 17th (seven spots behind the 49ers), the team wants to limit the number of opportunities Tom Brady gets, especially with the short field. Limit the pressure and the strain on the defense by not giving the ball away, and the 49ers will be looking at another victory.


Brady has been sacked 18 times this season, four less than in 2021. With the absence of right tackle Tristan Wirfs, the 49ers should be able to dial about pressure on the right side without sacrificing any pieces from their secondary. Brady is one of the least-mobile quarterbacks in the league, so the defense doesn't have to fear his threat in the run game.

The key to pressuring Brady and forcing him to make mistakes is straight up the middle. Expect defensive tackles Arik Armstead, Kevin Givens, T.Y. McGill, and the interior to get pressure up the middle and force Brady to get outside the pocket so that the ends can eat. Brady only has three interceptions on the season, but pressure can create overthrows and under-throws, leading to three and outs.

LIMIT the BIG Play

The Buccaneers are ranked 27th in points per game, averaging 18 points per game. What makes the 49ers' defense resilient is their ability to adjust after giving up a big play. Against the Dolphins, the defense gave up a 75-yard touchdown to Trent Sherfield and, in the second half, a 45-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill.

The 49ers' defense was able to limit the high-powered offense of the Dolphins to 17 points off of two big plays. That was against a young quarterback, and now the defense is facing possibly the greatest quarterback of all time. If Brady and the Buccaneers get big plays, the outcome could be different based on experience.


Expect calls not to go in favor of the 49ers in this game. Expect new rules to be made as the game goes along. With those two expectations in mind, the 49ers must be disciplined on both sides. False starts and holding calls on offense will benefit the Buccaneers and their seventh-ranked defense. DO NOT help a good defense in any way. Defensively, holding, pass interference, offsides, and roughing the passer, to name a few, could be detrimental in this game.

Nick Bosa has a streak of three straight games with personal foul calls. If he plays (hamstring), it could be four consecutive games. The 49ers must limit the opportunities of the Buccaneers, and one way to do that is by being DISCIPLINED.

In conclusion...

The Buccaneers' defense will try to confuse Purdy. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will have his defense locked and loaded. But Purdy doesn't have to do this alone; he has the support of his team and the coaches. If the 49ers stick to the keys, their winning will continue, and they may be trending as the most dangerous team in football.

It's December football at its finest.
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for 49erscap.com. His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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