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5 Winners and 1 loser in the 49ers impressive win over the Bucs: The defense does it again

We’re running out of ways to describe how dominant this 49er defense is

NFL: DEC 11 Buccaneers at 49ers Photo by Tony Ding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

At no point during the 49ers 35-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the game in doubt. The 49ers jumped out to a 7-0 lead after their first drive, and at halftime, the lead was up to 28. Brock Purdy played even better than last week and is the first of the winners and losers of the 49ers' victory on Sunday:

Winner: QB Brock Purdy

The 49ers put together what may have been their best half of the season in the first half because of the performance put together by Brock Purdy. He finished the first half with 185 yards on 14-of-18 passing with two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown, boosting the 49ers to a 28-0 lead at halftime.

His first touchdown came on a pass for Christian McCaffrey, put in only a place McCaffrey could make the catch for a 27-yard touchdown that stood after replay review. He followed up with a 32-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Brandon Aiyuk to put the 49ers up 28 points with 15 seconds left in the first half.

Purdy’s first half was so dominant he only had to throw the ball three times in the second half and was relieved by Josh Johnson in the fourth quarter. However, he very much looked the part through two weeks and has given the 49ers offense plenty of encouraging signs going forward.

Winner: RB Christian McCaffrey

McCaffrey’s 119 rushing yards was a season-high and the most he’s had in a game since November 2019. His first four rushing attempts on Sunday went for 20, -1, 13, and 13 yards individually, and he had five rushes that went for ten or more yards. He capped his day off with a 38-yard touchdown on the 49ers' first drive of the second half to put them up 35-0

His most impressive play of the day came as a receiver, where he finished with two receptions for 37 yards with an acrobatic 27-yard touchdown reception. McCaffrey lined up wide and got past Logan Ryan, with Purdy hitting McCaffrey in stride near the goal line. McCaffrey bobbled it but was able to regain possession while twisting his body and getting both feet in bounds to secure the touchdown.

Loser: The Deebo Samuel injury

The only downside from Sunday was the ankle injury Deebo Samuel suffered in the second quarter. Samuel took a hand-off from Purdy and got twisted as he was stripped of the ball, which Tampa Bay recovered. He tried to walk off the field but ultimately had to be carted off the field with what was thought to be a knee injury, later changed to an ankle injury.

However, it appears the injury was not as bad as it appeared to be. Kyle Shanahan announced after the game that nothing was broken and it could be a sprain. Disaster seems to have been avoided, with there being a chance Samuel returns later in the season.

Winner: DeMeco Ryans and the 49ers' defense

We’re running out of different ways to talk about how impressive DeMeco Ryans has been this season with the 49ers' defense. Tom Brady only managed 253 yards and threw two interceptions in the Buccaneers' loss.

The three turnovers forced were the most the Buccaneers have had this season and their most since Week 8 last season. In addition, with the Buccaneers scoring their lone touchdown in the second half, the defense has now allowed only 14 points in the second half over their last six games.

There’s a limited amount of games left to praise Ryans as the 49ers' defensive coordinator. It seems each week, the defense is getting better and better and Ryans is at the center of it.

Winner: Returner Ray-Ray McCloud

McCloud had his best day as a returner this season for the 49ers. He averaged 14.3 yards per return on his three chances, his highest average minimum of three returns this season. The 49ers' offense took two of those returns and turned them into back-to-back touchdown scoring drives. Not only was he productive on punt returns, but he took two kickoffs for 30 and 24 yards, setting the offense up past the 30-yard line each time.

Winner: LB Dre Greenlaw

Greenlaw was all over the field collecting a team-high and career-high 15 tackles with a pass deflection and one Tom Brady autographed ball that was Greenlaw’s first of the season. The Buccaneers were driving down 35-0 in the third quarter and were down to the 49ers' 33-yard-line. Brady threw a pass intended for Mike Evans that Greenlaw was able to tip into the air and bring down for the interception.