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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Purdy bests Tom Brady in first NFL start as 49ers blast Buccaneers, 35-7

Dec 11, 2022 at 4:36 PM--

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TB 0 0 7 0 7
SF 7 21 7 0 35

The much-hyped showdown between the greatest player in NFL history and the last player picked in the 2022 NFL Draft turned out to be no contest, with Mr. Irrelevant winning in lopsided fashion.

In his first NFL start after taking over the 49ers' quarterback job the previous week due an injury to Jimmy Garoppolo, rookie Brock Purdy looked like an experienced veteran, throwing for 185 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-21 passing while leading his team to a 35-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Purdy outdueled Buccaneers quarterback and California native Tom Brady, who struggled during his return to his hometown area and finished with 253 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on 34-of-55 passing.

Purdy and the 49ers rolled to four first half touchdowns while looking like a team that worthy of consideration as one of the Super Bowls favorite in the NFC, despite being without their first- and second-string quarterbacks. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, looked lifeless for much of the game, making a number of errors while digging themselves in a 35-0 hole. The 49ers outgained the Buccaneers 209-69 on the ground, with running back Christian McCaffrey finishing with 14 carries for 119 yards and one touchdown.

First Half

The 49ers opened the game with possession and got in the scoreboard in a hurry, putting together a five-play, 67-yard drive that finished with a 13-yard touchdown run from Deebo Samuel to take a 7-0 lead. Buccaneers safety Keanu Neal was flagged for roughing the passer on the first play of the drive, then after two completions to tight end George Kittle and a 21-yard run from McCaffrey to move the ball to the 13, Samuel did the rest to finish off the possession.

The Buccaneers answered with a 10-play, 40-yard drive that ended in a missed 55-yard field goal, then after a three-and-out from the 49ers on their second possession, the Buccaneers appeared to have hit pay dirt when Brady found wide receiver Mike Evans for a 68-yard touchdown. But the play was nullified on a holding penalty, leading to a three-and-out from the Buccaneers and a punt back to the 49ers.

The offense got going again for the 49ers on their third possession, which ended with a nifty two-yard run touchdown from Purdy to wrap up an eight-play, 62-yard drive. The 49ers used a mix of run and pass to move inside the Buccaneers' 10-yard line, then after Neal was hit with a pass interference call in the end zone on a 3rd-and-1, Purdy escaped pressure to run into the end zone and give the 49ers a 14-0 lead.

Another Buccaneers three-and-out followed the touchdown, then Purdy and the offense kept things rolling with a nine-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 27-yard scoring strike from Purdy to McCaffrey to give the 49ers a 21-0 lead. Purdy showed his playmaking ability with a fancy completion to Samuel early in the drive then found McCaffrey wide open downfield on a 3rd-and-5 for his first touchdown pass of the game.

But after everything went their way for most of the first half, disaster struck for the 49ers on their next possession, which came after holding the Buccaneers to their fourth consecutive three-and-out. On the fifth play of the possession, Samuel took a handoff and got his leg rolled up on during the tackle, causing him to fall to the ground in pain after fumbling the ball to the Buccaneers. Samuel was carted off the field and did not return.

The Buccaneers drove inside the 49ers' 10-yard line after the turnover but gave the ball back to the 49ers after failing to convert on a 4th-and-2 from the 9. The 49ers took over with 2:29 remaining, which proved to be more than enough time for the offense to add one more touchdown before the half. Purdy led the 49ers into Buccaneers territory with less than a minute remaining, then after an interception was overturned on a defensive holding penalty, Purdy found a wide open Brandon Aiyuk for a 32-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead with 15 seconds left in the half.

The Buccaneers ran out the clock on their final first half possession, putting an end to what was a dominant performance overall for the 49ers. The Samuel injury was the only down moment during a first half that saw the 49ers put together a 290-111 edge in total yardage and a 19-5 advantage in first downs. Purdy completed 14-of-18 passes in the first half for 185 yards and two touchdowns along with one rushing touchdown.

Second Half

The second half began as miserably as the first half ended for the Buccaneers. After getting a 54-yard kick return from Deven Thompkins to start the half, Brady was picked off by safety Tashaun Gipson on the third play of the half's opening possession, giving the 49ers the ball at the Buccaneers' 38-yard line. Two plays later, McCaffrey ran through the middle of the Buccaneers' defense for a 38-yard touchdown and a 35-0 lead.

The Buccaneers moved into 49ers territory on the following possession before Brady was picked off once again, this time by linebacker Dre Greenlaw. The 49ers were held to a three-and-out after the interception, then Greenlaw came close to picking Brady off once more to stop a scoring threat on the next drive but fell short while Brady threaded the needle to wide receiver Russell Gage to get on the scoreboard.

The 49ers were held to a punt on the next drive before the teams traded turnovers on downs as the fourth quarter proceeded. The 49ers got the ball back one last time with just over three minutes remaining via a forced fumble by safety Jimmie Ward that was recovered by linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and were able to run out the clock and seal the victory.

The 49ers moved to 9-4 with the win, which is their sixth in a row after an inconsistent start to the season. The Buccaneers fell to 6-7 with the loss.

Notes: The win gives the 49ers a 19-7-1 all-time advantage in their series with the Buccaneers and drops Brady to a 2-2 record against his hometown team... Per the NFL Network, Purdy became the first quarterback to notch a win over Brady in his first NFL start... 49ers wide receiver Danny Gray, who was selected in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, caught his first NFL pass late in the fourth quarter (a 10-yard completion from backup quarterback Josh Johnson)... After playing their last three games at home, the 49ers will take to the road this week for a pivotal prime time game against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night (8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT, Prime Video). The Seahawks (7-6) fell two games back of the 49ers in the NFC West on Sunday after being upset at home by the Carolina Panthers... The Buccaneers will be at home for a Sunday afternoon game against the Cincinnati Bengals (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX).

TB Team Stats SF
253 Passing Yards 195
69 Rushing Yards 209
322 Total Yards 404
4.6 Avg Yards per Pass 8.48
3.63 Avg Yards per Run 5.81
1 Fumbles Lost 1
2 Int Thrown 0
0 Sacks Allowed 0
00:27:20 Time of Pos 00:32:40
8 Penalties 2

Buccaneers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Tom Brady 34/55 253 1 2
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Leonard Fournette 4 13 3.3 0
Tom Brady 2 0 0 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Chris Godwin 5 9 54 0
Mike Evans 4 9 44 0
Julio Jones 5 8 38 0
Leonard Fournette 6 7 33 0
Russell Gage 2 2 12 1
Cameron Brate 2 4 12 0
Scott Miller 0 1 0 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Ryan Succop 0 1 0 1
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Logan Ryan 8-1 0 0 0
Carlton Davis 4-1 0 0 0
Devin White 4-1 0 0 0
Anthony Nelson 3-4 0 0 1
Keanu Neal 3-3 0 0 0
Lavonte David 3-2 0 0 0
Carl Nassib 3-0 0 0 0
Dee Delaney 3-0 0 0 0
Deadrin Senat 2-0 0 0 0
Akiem Hicks 1-2 0 0 0
William Gholston 1-2 0 0 0
Rakeem Nunez-Roches 1-2 0 0 0
Jamel Dean 1-1 0 0 0
Genard Avery 1-0 0 0 0
K.J. Britt 1-0 0 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Josh Johnson 1/2 10 0 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Christian McCaffrey 14 119 8.5 1
Deebo Samuel 4 21 5.3 1
Ray-Ray McCloud 3 7 2.3 0
Josh Johnson 2 3 1.5 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Brandon Aiyuk 2 3 57 1
Deebo Samuel 4 5 43 0
Christian McCaffrey 2 3 34 1
George Kittle 4 5 28 0
Ray-Ray McCloud 1 1 11 0
Kyle Juszczyk 2 2 7 0
Jauan Jennings 1 2 5 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Deebo Samuel 1 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 3 44.7 1 62
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 54 27 0 30
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 3 14.3 0 15
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Charvarius Ward 6-2 0 0 0
Jimmie Ward 6-2 0 0 1
Fred Warner 4-4 0 0 0
Tashaun Gipson 4-0 0 1 0
Deommodore Lenoir 3-2 0 0 0
Talanoa Hufanga 3-1 0 0 0
George Odum 3-0 0 0 0
Nick Bosa 3-0 0 0 0
Ambry Thomas 2-0 0 0 0
Dre Greenlaw 10-5 0 1 0
T.Y. McGill 1-1 0 0 0
Kyle Juszczyk 1-0 0 0 0
Samson Ebukam 1-0 0 0 0
Charlie Woerner 1-0 0 0 0

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