The 49ers didn’t accomplish much on their first offensive drive, but the defense forced a three-and-out.
On the Niners second drive, they picked up a first down and made it to mid-field. On third down, Purdy found Christian McCaffrey underneath to keep the drive alive after it seemed as if the offense would stall.
A holding penalty on the ensuing play negated a first down run from McCaffrey to put San Francisco behind the chains. But Aiyuk would get his revenge, as he drew a defensive holding call on Jamel Dean to give the offense a first down.
Dean was banged up on the play, and the 49ers went right after his backup, which resulted in a first down reception for Aiyuk.
After a McCaffrey run, Kyle Shanahan drew up a scheme to isolate CMC 1-on-1 with Devin White, and that’s advantage McCaffrey every day of the week. McCaffrey’s touchdown began a new streak to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead.
On their second offensive drive, Tampa Bay took a play out of the Jacksonville Jaguars playbook from a week ago as they threw multiple screen passes, which were all successful.
Tampa Bay couldn’t put points on the board, however, thanks to pressure by Nick Bosa and a forced fumble from Fred Warner. Warner and Bosa officially split the sack.
We had an Elijah Mitchell sighting on the third offensive drive from the 49ers. He had gains of 13 and six on the drive. Brock Purdy found Aiyuk for a gain of 19 yards to put the Niners inside the red zone. Unfortunately, a sack all put ended the drive, which led to a Jake Moody field goal. Moody’s kick from 37 yards out was good to give San Francisco a 10-0 lead.
The Bucs made their way into San Francisco’s territory within four plays, thanks to an impressive throw by Baker Mayfield to Trey Palmer for a gain of 17 yards. Charvarius Ward was in the ideal position, but it was one of those plays where good offense beats good defense.
A Nick Bosa offsides penalty gave the Bucs a more manageable down. Then, Baker scrambled for a first down. It seemed as though the 49ers would get off the field after Arik Armstead beat a pair of Buccaneer offensive lineman for a sack. But the Niners left the middle of the field wide open on 2nd & 19, and Cade Otton gained 27 yards.
Tampa ran an end around to gain 17 yards. Then, from the 1-yard line, Mayfield found Mike Evans for a touchdown to make it 10-7.
Brandon Aiyuk took a pass from Purdy 37 yards to put the 49ers in scoring position with 1:33 remaining in the first half. He inexplicably stayed in bounds on his next reception, which forced the offense to use their second timeout.
Moody would kick another field goal to the score 13-6 headed into half.
Ambry Thomas didn’t fall for Mike Evans’ double move out of the half. Then, Mooney broke a pass up on a slot fade. So the secondary was tested, but they did their job to help the defense get off the field to start the half.
Brock Purdy and company would begin their drive from their 2-yard line. Against a defense that features Vita Vea in the middle, that’s the last thing you’d want.
But a 21-yard pass to George Kittle gave the offense some breathing room. Then, a slot fade to Aiyuk felt like a backbreaker for the Bucs. Purdy put the ball where it needed to be, and Aiyuk ran right by the defender for a 76-yard touchdown to make the score 20-7.
That was the longest touchdown reception for anybody in the league this season.
Tampa Bay wouldn’t go away. They converted a 3rd & 11 on a throw where Mooney was once again in prime position. Dre Greenlaw had an opportunity for an interception, but could not bring down the pass through the ground. Tampa Bay was forced to punt.
On the 49ers next drive, Purdy found Kittle for 11 yards. Then, on a play when he was pressured, Purdy kept his eyes down the field and found Deebo for a gain of 40 yards. Before you knew it, the offense was inside of the 10-yard line.
Purdy found Kittle in the back of the end zone for the third touchdown pass of the game to make the score 27-7. That was the third difference pass catcher to score on the afternoon.
Here’s how things were going for Brock:
Did Brock Purdy do what I think he did ??? pic.twitter.com/nRwCnSJmUs— Alex Tran (@nineralex) November 19, 2023
It did appear as though the 49ers lost Talanoa Hufanga for a significant time to a knee injury. It was a non-contact injury as Hufanga was going in to make a tackle. Ji’Ayir Brown is the next man up.
Brown looked to be in coverage on a long reception on the first play he stepped onto the field. It’s not abnormal for the opponent to target a player who is a first-timer. Brown would presumably have his opportunities to make more plays.
Tampa Bay had a 5-play scoring drive that included a 41-yarder where Brown was targeted. After a 49ers punt, Tampa Bay continued to move the ball and were into 49ers’ territory.
Fred Warner batted a third down pass. Then, on 4th & 5, the pass rush couldn’t get home and Evans beat Ambry Thomas across the middle for a first down.
Tashaun Gipson had an interception in his hands, but dropped it. So Greenlaw, Warner, and Gipson had all dropped interceptions. To make matters worse, Gipson collided with Ward on the play. Ward walked off under his own power after he appeared to be shaken up.
The defense would face yet another fourth down. This time, Isaiah Oliver would come into the game. Ji’Ayir Brown ended up making the play in coverage against Mike Evans of all people, to get the defense off the field.
A big punt return put the Bucs into the red zone. It looked as if Tampa Bay would score. But Brown broke up a sure-fire touchdown, then was the beneficiary of a tipped pass for an interception. It was an incredible series of plays for the rookie.
The Niners picked up a couple of first downs to ice the game. But on 4th & 1 from midfield, McCaffrey was stopped, and the Bucs still had life. McCaffrey was ticked off on the sidelines, to say the least, after failing to convert.
Brock Purdy finished the game with a perfect passer rating. He was 21-for-25 for 333 yards, three touchdowns, and averaged 13 yards per attempt. He was his usual self. Making plays with his legs, pushing the ball down the field, and keeping the offense on track.
Bosa and Chase Young added a sack on the final drive. The defense finished the game with their hands on 11 of Mayfield’s throws. This was another complementary victory where the offense and defense both performed well, despite a few hiccups along the way.