The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came to Levi’s Stadium Sunday, and the quarterback was poised, confident, unfazed, making plays and led his team to a 35-7 victory. That quarterback was, of course, rookie Brock Purdy, who was making his first NFL start and has the San Francisco 49ers one game closer to NFC West champs.
Mr. Now Very Relevant became the first quarterback to beat Tom Brady in his first NFL start, but more importantly, with the 49ers having lost Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa said, “We got a quarterback.”
That they do. Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, looked like a seasoned veteran, as he made big throws under pressure, took some big hits, found ways to buy time to hit his check downs and didn’t let a little thing like an interception (albeit a negated one) shake him.
“He went out there and just absolutely played out of his mind…,” said fullback Kyle Juszczyk. “I knew the type of guy that we had and I love that he was just able to go out there and just execute at such a high level.”
The game began with Purdy getting absolutely clobbered, to the point that the hit drew a roughing the passer call, but the young QB was unfazed.
“It was a hard hit,” said Purdy. “I was in the wrong play actually, so that was on me, but honestly it felt good to sort of just get hit and just feel like I was in the game, and I was like, okay. So, it sort of turned out to be a good thing.”
Purdy proceeded to lead a 67-yard drive that ended with a pitch to Deebo Samuel that Samuel took around the right end for 13 yards and into the end zone. A couple drives later, Purdy ended a 62-yard drive by running for a two-yard touchdown.
“I think he did an awesome job,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan. “…[H]e made a ton of plays. Made the plays that were there, made some plays that weren’t there. He did a great job in the pocket. Had one mistake there, he was fortunate that we got that one back. He didn’t hesitate. I think he threw a touchdown the next play, which was really cool, but it’s really impressive how he played and I thought it was similar to the week before.”
That touchdown on the next play was a 32-yarder to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
“You just find spots knowing he’s going to have the opportunity and give you an opportunity to continue to make plays on a scramble drill or on a broken play,” Aiyuk said of his new QB1. “He can make guys miss on the edge and get outside to keep plays alive.”
The 49ers scored five touchdowns in all, with the final being a 38-yard touchdown run by Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey had 119 yards rushing and a receiving touchdown as well, because, obviously.
“He is an impressive guy,” McCaffrey said. “He is fun to be around. I think to play quarterback in this league you have to be very intelligent…For a rookie to come in and process this offense and do everything by the book, but then add his own flare to it, is very impressive. So I’m excited for him, excited to keep playing with him. I love that guy.”
Purdy finished the day 16-of-21 for 185 yards, two touchdown passes, a rushing touchdown and a passer rating of 146.5, while the 49ers ran the ball 36 times for 209 yards.
Purdy chants rained down at Levi’s Stadium.
“That was wild to hear the whole stadium saying it like that,” Purdy said.
We’ve got some great fans out here, man. They love this team and they’re right behind us all the way through, so very thankful for them.”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news for San Francisco, as Deebo Samuel was carted off the field with an ankle injury in the second quarter. Shanahan said the team believes it is a high-ankle sprain but no bones were broken. They will know more on Monday.
Other injuries from the game are as follows:
DL Kevin Givens (knee), CB Dontae Johnson (knee), CB Samuel Womack III (concussion protocol), DL Kerry Hyder Jr. (ankle), CB Ambry Thomas (ankle) had Purdy (oblique).
On the Purdy oblique injury potentially being an issue for Thursday night against Seattle, Shanahan said, “You never know how those act up. He was able to finish the game today, but we have to see when he comes in tomorrow, when the adrenaline wears off.”
That Defense Though
The 49ers dominant defense showed up again. S Tashaun Gipson and LB Dre Greenlaw both had interceptions. It’s not easy to intercept Tom Brady twice. Greenlaw also had 15 tackles on the day so he had a day, a day that was capped off by Brady signing his interception ball.
“The worst thing he could tell me is no,” Greenlaw said. “I was always told, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. So, he’s a good guy to be able to sign that ball after he threw those picks, that’s big time. I appreciate him. He’s the greatest, he’s the greatest. He’s the goat, so I appreciate that.”
Greenlaw also said he went a little “Fangirl” which is always appreciated here at Fangirl Sports Network. Fred Warner joined him.
“It was like, ‘Hey, Tom, can you sign the ball for us?’” Warner said. “Like we were 5-year-olds. It was great.”
We’re all just kids at heart.
Before Sunday, Brady had thrown three total interceptions all season. He finished the game with a passer rating of 63.7. The Bucs were 4-of-16 on third down and didn’t score until late in the third quarter. Brady was hit seven times.
“Honestly, we looked at ourselves in the mirror and understood the type of guys we have on this side of the ball, starting with the D-line, the linebackers and the secondary…just playing complementary football,” Gipson said. “That’s been the biggest thing. We had to look at ourselves after that Chiefs game. Sometimes you need games like that to humble you a little bit. I think that was our wake up call. Since then, we’ve been rolling offensively, defensively and special teams. We’re just playing good complementary football right now.”
The 49ers take their six-game win streak into Seattle with their sights set on the division. It’s a short week, but a win gives them the NFC West.
“We have a team that’s locked in, a team who’s been together for a while now, understands the mission, understands what we want to do as a football team and understands what we want to do each week,” Aiyuk said. “When you have a focused football team that knows what they’re capable of, some good things happen.”