The 49ers were involved in fun matchups throughout 2022. We’ll re-live the five best/most interesting/fun games. Here’s number five.
Week 14 vs. Tampa Bay, 35-7
After Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending injury in the prior week against Miami, Brock Purdy entered. Purdy led the 49ers to a victory over the Dolphins in his second appearance in the NFL. “Mr. Irrelevant” was impressive in his relief appearance. When Garoppolo’s injury was determined as a multi-week absence at least, Purdy would start in Week 14 against Tampa Bay.
Did you know the starting QB for the Buccaneers, Tom Brady, was a huge 49ers fan and hailed from the Bay Area? I know, that’s a huge information bomb. Brady was in the middle of what many believed to be his final NFL season and final trip to Santa Clara.
The discussion around this game was based on Purdy’s first start against Tom Brady, who had never lost to a rookie in their first NFL start. Plus, many 49ers fans were skeptical about Purdy’s chances in his first start.
The 49ers entered with a five-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Bucs entered, winning three of their last four games. The hope around Tampa Bay was the team had found solid footing after a three-game losing streak from Week 6 through eight.
What happened next was the stuff out of a storybook. The 49ers jumped out to a 28-0 lead at halftime. Purdy’s father was in attendance and was shedding tears of joy watching his son dice up the Tampa Bay defense.
The offense did what it wanted. The defense was stout. Brady was frustrated all game. Purdy looked like a veteran, as opposed to a young man starting his first NFL game.
When the dust settled, the 49ers finished with a convincing victory of 35-7. A lot of credit goes to Tom Brady, who was hounded for pictures and autographs from 49ers players after the game. It was easy to understand their motivations, considering Brady is the GOAT. Brady granted each request and understood the moment.
Brady has announced his “retirement.” Purdy showed he was more than ready to be the starter. The 49ers rolled, and it was the start of a new era for the youngster.