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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports


49ers cruise behind bounce-back performance from Brock Purdy to 27-10 win over Commanders

Dec 31, 2023 at 12:51 PM--


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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 10 3 7 7 27
WAS 0 10 0 0 10

It wasn't always as dominant of a showing as some might have expected, but the San Francisco 49ers handled business in decisive fashion nonetheless on Sunday, knocking off the Washington Commanders 27-10 in their regular season road finale at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.

The 49ers got a rebound game from quarterback Brock Purdy, who six days after throwing four interceptions in a Christmas night loss to the Baltimore Ravens bounced back with 230 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-28 passing. Running back Elijah Mitchell was an unexpected contributor for the 49ers, rushing for 17 carries for 80 yards and one touchdown while starter and MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey (14 carries, 64 yards) nursed a sore calf. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk caught seven of Purdy's passes for 114 yards and one touchdown.

Commanders quarterback Sam Howell threw for 169 yards on 17-of-28 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions in a losing effort.

First Half


The 49ers opened the game with a workman-like drive that spanned 55 yards in 12 plays and took almost seven minutes off the game clock. A mix of passes from Purdy and runs from McCaffrey moved the ball inside the Commanders' 20-yard line, where the Commanders got a stop from their defense and forced a field goal attempt. Kicker Jake Moody connected from 38 yards on the attempt to give the 49ers a 3-0 lead.

A three-and-out from the Commanders followed the field goal, then the 49ers put together their first touchdown drive of the game -- a nine-play, 63-yard possession that ended with a two-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Deebo Samuel. Samuel had a 10-yard run and a 16-yard reception earlier in the drive, then on a 2nd-and-Goal, Samuel took the ball on a short toss pass and ran around the left side of the line and into the end zone for a 10-0 lead.


The Commanders responded with a nine-play, 46-yard drive that saw them move into 49ers territory on a 12-yard run and a 22-yard reception from running back Brian Robinson. But the 49ers' defense stepped up inside the 30 and forced the Commanders to settle for a 47-yard field goal from kicker Joey Slye to cut the lead to 10-3.

After forcing a 49ers punt on the previous possession, the Commanders took over again from their own 16-yard line with just under ten minutes remaining in the half. From there, the Commanders engineered a nine-play, 64-yard drive that culminated with a three-yard touchdown pass from Howell to wide receiver Terry McLaurin. Howell and McLaurin connected on a 42-yard gain on a 3rd-and-2 earlier in the drive, then the duo finished things off with a touchdown to tie the game at 10 with 4:33 remaining.


The 49ers moved down the field quickly on the next drive after a series of chunk plays and soon faced a 1st-and-Goal from the one-yard line with under a minute to play. But after stopping McCaffrey for a three-yard loss on first down, the Commanders forced back-to-back incompletions and set up another field goal attempt, this one from 22 yards out. Moody connected on the kick to give the 49ers a 13-10 lead, then the Commanders ran out the clock on their next possession to send the game to halftime.

The 49ers had the edge in the stat sheet in the first half, outgaining the Commanders 201 to 131 with a first down advantage of 15 to 7. The 49ers also held the ball for 19 minutes to 11 for the Commanders, but their two defensive stops that forced field goals to go with their long second quarter scoring drive kept the Commanders close heading into the break.

Second Half


The 49ers held the Commanders to a three-and-out to start the second half, then they put together a smash-mouth 12-play, 83-yard drive that ended with a two-yard run from Mitchell. Mitchell had seven carries on the drive while giving a breather to McCaffrey, who also chipped in with a 10-yard catch earlier in the drive. The touchdown gave the 49ers a 20-10 lead after taking over seven minutes off the game clock.


The Commanders responded with a long drive of their own, but this time the 49ers came up with a stop when it mattered most. The drive spanned 64 yards over 10 plays and included a key 25-yard completion to wide receiver Curtis Samuel on a 2nd-and-20 before the Commanders faced a 3rd-and-8 from the 49ers' 11-yard line. Howell was picked off by cornerback Charvarius Ward on that play, who gave the 49ers possession at their own 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter.


Mitchell dug the 49ers out of poor field position with a 15-yard run on the next play, which was the start of a 10-play, 95-yard drive that ended in a touchdown pass to Aiyuk for a 27-10 lead. A pinpoint 38-yard completion from Purdy to Aiyuk earlier in the drive moved the 49ers inside the Commanders' 20-yard line, then on a 3rd-and-9 from the 17-yard line, Purdy dazzled by escaping the Commanders' pass rush to find Aiyuk wide open in the end zone for the score.


Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir gave the ball back to the 49ers with an interception at the Commanders' 41-yard line on the next possession, then the 49ers quickly moved inside the red zone after runs from Samuel and Mitchell. But the drive came up empty when Mitchell was stuffed on a 4th-and-Goal from the 1-yard line, giving the Commanders possession with just under four minutes left in the game.


The Commanders were held to a three-and-out after the turnover on downs, then Sam Darnold entered the game in place of Purdy on the next possession. The 49ers punted back to the Commanders with 1:49 to play after a three-and-out, then after holding the Commanders to a turnover on downs, the 49ers ran out the clock to seal the victory.

The 49ers moved to 12-4 on the season with the win, while the Commanders fell to 4-12 with the loss.

Game Notes: Purdy set a new single-season 49ers record on his final pass of the game with 4,280 yards on the season. The record was previously held by Jeff Garcia (4,278 yards in 2000). Howell started for the Commanders due to a hamstring injury to previous backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Commanders head coach Ron Rivera benched the slumping Howell in favor of Brissett in the days leading up to the game... With the win, the 49ers now lead the all-time series against the Commanders 22-12-1... The 49ers were 14-point favorites heading into the game.

SF Team Stats WAS
224 Passing Yards 163
184 Rushing Yards 62
408 Total Yards 225
8.21 Avg Yards per Pass 6.04
4.72 Avg Yards per Run 4.43
0 Fumbles Lost 0
0 Int Thrown 2
1 Sacks Allowed 1
00:38:13 Time of Pos 00:21:47
3 Penalties 5

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Brock Purdy 22/28 230 2 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Elijah Mitchell 17 80 4.7 1
Christian McCaffrey 14 64 4.6 0
Deebo Samuel 3 35 11.7 0
Brock Purdy 1 4 4 0
Jordan Mason 2 3 1.5 0
Sam Darnold 2 -2 -1 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Brandon Aiyuk 7 8 114 1
Deebo Samuel 5 6 37 1
George Kittle 3 4 29 0
Christian McCaffrey 4 5 27 0
Kyle Juszczyk 3 3 23 0
Ronnie Bell 0 1 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Sam Darnold 1 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Jake Moody 2 2 38 3
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 2 37 2 40
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ronnie Bell 2 8.5 0 17
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Fred Warner 6-4 0 0 0
Logan Ryan 4-2 0 0 0
Charvarius Ward 4-1 0 1 0
Nick Bosa 3-1 0 0 0
Deommodore Lenoir 3-1 0 1 0
Javon Kinlaw 2-2 0 0 0
Clelin Ferrell 2-1 1 0 0
Tashaun Gipson 2-0 0 0 0
Dre Greenlaw 10-4 0 0 0
Javon Hargrave 1-1 0 0 0
Oren Burks 1-1 0 0 0
Kevin Givens 1-1 0 0 0
Robert Beal 1-1 0 0 0
Isaiah Oliver 1-0 0 0 0
Chase Young 1-0 0 0 0
Ambry Thomas 1-0 0 0 0

Commanders Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Sam Howell 17/28 169 1 2
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Brian Robinson 9 44 4.9 0
Antonio Gibson 4 19 4.8 0
Sam Howell 1 -1 -1 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Terry McLaurin 4 6 61 1
Curtis Samuel 3 4 33 0
Brian Robinson 4 4 32 0
Logan Thomas 3 4 20 0
Antonio Gibson 2 4 17 0
John Bates 1 2 6 0
Byron Pringle 0 1 0 0
Jahan Dotson 0 1 0 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Joey Slye 1 1 47 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Tress Way 3 46.3 1 55
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Jamison Crowder 1 2 0 2
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Kamren Curl 9-3 0 0 0
David Mayo 8-2 0 0 0
Jonathan Allen 5-3 0 0 0
Terrell Burgess 4-3 0 0 0
James Smith-Williams 4-2 0 0 0
Casey Toohill 4-2 0 0 0
Quan Martin 4-2 0 0 0
Emmanuel Forbes 4-0 0 0 0
Christian Holmes 3-2 0 0 0
Tariq Castro-Fields 3-1 0 0 0
KJ Henry 3-0 0 0 0
Phidarian Mathis 2-2 0 0 0
Cody Barton 12-3 0 0 0
Khaleke Hudson 11-7 0 0 0
John Ridgeway 1-1 0 0 0
Daron Payne 1-0 0 0 0


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