Purdy Perfect in Victory

Joe Montana was the last 49ers quarterback to achieve a perfect passer rating of 158.3.  On 12 November 1989, Montana completed 16 of his 19 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns.  Today, Brock Purdy completed 21 of his 25 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns, achieving the perfect passer rating of 158.3.  Purdy’s outstanding play helped secure the win against a tough and scrappy Buccaneers squad.

Though Purdy had a great day passing, he was still sacked four times.  The offense only converted four of ten third downs and the rushing attack was held to a paltry 115 yards.  Finally, the Buccaneer defense managed to force the 49ers to punt three times in the second half.  Two of those punts came off consecutive three and out 49er drives.  With two minutes left in the game, the Niners offense failed to convert a fourth and one.  Todd Bowles wrung every bit of effort out of his defense against the explosive and dynamic 49ers offense.  Still, Purdy and company showed how lethal they can be.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) passes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

The 49ers offense can strike quickly.  They can also grind out a drive.  In the first half the 49ers executed three scoring drives of ten plays or more.  In the second half, they executed an explosive three-play drive to score.  That drive started on their own two-yard line.  On second down of the drive, George Kittle caught a ball and turned it up field for 21 yards.  On the very next play, Purdy found Brandon Aiyuk for a 76-yard connection and a touchdown.  Aiyuk lined up in the slot.  At the snap, he beat his man and run up the field outside the numbers.  He started to drift towards the sideline and the ball found him in-stride as he bounded into the end-zone.  The pass is the longest connection of the year in all the NFL.  Aiyuk finished the day with five receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown.

The 49ers defense performed well.  They held the Buccaneers to 66 yards rushing.  However, Baker Mayfield was able to find success moving the ball between the twenties as he amassed 246 yards thru the air.   Still, the difference in the game were two forced turnovers.  During the Buccaneers second offensive possession they were driving the field and had made it to the 49er 38-yard line.  Nick Bosa and Fred Warner met at the quarterback.  As Mayfield went down, Warner punched the ball out and Clelin Ferrell recovered.

In the second half, the defense stymied the Buccaneers first two opening half possessions, forcing punts.  The 49ers offense scored their last two touchdowns of the game after each of these defensive series.  However, in the fourth quarter, disaster struck the 49er defense as Talanoa Hufanga left the field with a knee injury.  Mayfield took advantage of rookie back up safety Ji’Ayir Brown and hit Rakim Jarrett down the middle of the field for a 41-yard gain.  Two plays later, the Buccaneers scored.

Ji’Ayir Brown was forced to grow up quick today.  He was tasked with finishing the fourth quarter in place of Hufanga.  With three minutes left in the game, the Buccaneers were on the 49ers nine yard-line.  Baker attempted to connect with his tight end, but Brown was there to meet him and jarred the ball out of his hands.  On the next play Charvarius Ward had to exit the after being shook up on the play.  Isaiah Oliver trotted out and aligned in the slot, kicking Deommodore Lenoir out to the parameter.  At the snap, Oliver blitzed and affected Mayfield’s pass as the ball lasered down the field, bounced off of Nick Bosa’s helmet and into Browns opportunistic hands.  Brown shut down the Buccaneers drive in two plays showing that John Lynch’s faith in him was not misplaced.

San Francisco 49ers safety Ji’Ayir Brown, left, celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

When the offense could not gain a yard to convert, it was on the defense to close out the game.  Once again, the defense held strong on the strength of two sacks.  The first sack came on a first and ten when Dre Greenlaw and Nick Bosa met at the quarterback.  The next sack came two plays later when Chase Young took Mayfield down on a 3rd and 9.  The Niners defense held strong when it mattered.

The 49ers offense is impossible to beat when it is on.  However, when the offense goes cold, they go cold.  Today’s fourth quarter is a quarter to forget for the offense.  Coach Shanahan must find the right plays to get his offense going when they hit a three and out.  Two three and outs in a row should not happen with an offense as talented as the 49ers.  I am sure Coach Shanahan will work on that this week as they get ready for Seattle.

Baker Mayfield is a talented, smart and gritty quarterback.  Todd Bowles’s defense is hardnosed and aggressive.  This was an important test for the 49ers to pass as they head into the toughest part of their schedule yet.  See you on Thanksgiving in Seattle.


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