49ers spoil Brady’s homecoming, destroy Buccaneers 35-7 despite Deebo Samuel injury

Dec 11, 2022, 6:39 PM
Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after rushing for a touchdown against the Tam...
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 11: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after rushing for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Levi's Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

It was a homecoming to forget for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, losing to the San Francisco 49ers 35-7 in Santa Clara.

From the start, Brady and the Bucs didn’t seem up to the task against this elite Red & Gold defense, failing to score any points on the opening possession. Kicker Ryan Succop came on to attempt a 48-yard field goal, but it was blocked by the 49ers.

From there the 49ers dominated, specifically rookie QB Brock Purdy. In his first career start in the NFL, Mr. Irrelevant threw for 16 for 21, 185 passing yards, three total touchdowns, no interceptions and a 134 passer rating. Most his stats came in the first half, including all three of his scores.

“I think he did an awesome job,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said postgame Sunday. “He made a ton of plays, great job in the pocket…it’s real impressive how he played and I thought it was real similar to the week before.”

The team’s first score came on the opening possession of the day, going 52 yards in five plays to find the endzone. After Purdy found tight end George Kittle for a crucial third down, running back Christian McCaffrey broke loose for a 21-yard gain. Now inside the redzone, wide receiver Deebo Samuel took an end-around to the house, scoring from 13 yards out to give the 49ers the lead, 7-0.

Purdy’ first score came in the second quarter, driving down the field with an eight-play, 62 yard drive that took almost five minutes. After plays from Purdy and McCaffrey set the 49ers up inside the 10-yard-line, the QB found a lane to the endzone from two yards out for his first rushing TD of his young career. 14-0 49ers at the start of the quarter.

The second touchdown was arguably his most impressive.

Driving down the field with a combination of running and passing, Purdy found CMC on a wheel route down the left side of the field, lobbying the ball with accuracy for six points from 27 yards away. 21-0 and it’s a madhouse at Levi’s Stadium.

His third TD came after a big mistake, when a Buccaneer read the QB’s eyes for the interception near midfield. Thankfully, a defensive holding call prior to the pass negated the mistake, giving the 49ers the ball back. A play later, Purdy found WR Brandon Aiyuk after a great double move saw him open going to the endzone. Delivering a ball slightly under-thrown, “BA” caught it and backpedaled into the endzone. 28-0 right before the end of the first half.

With this win, Brock Purdy became the first QB to beat Tom Brady in their first professional start, a feat that is irrelevant to the 22-year-old, more happy his team came away with the win.

Man, I’m just just excited that we won,” the rookie exclaimed. “Just to do what it takes to win. Defense played great, offense did their thing and to come out and win in a crucial part of the season, especially going into the Thursday night game coming up, It’s very exciting.

The game was emotional for the Arizona native though, his parents and family flew in to watch his first career start. Brock was very appreciative of them postgame, and all the people who have believed in him over the years.

“Man, it just means a lot because just throughout my whole life, the ups and downs of playing quarterback in general, high school and college. They’re the people at home that just believe in you, they always see the best in you. So they believe in me even though I was the last draft pick and all that kind of stuff, like they have always been telling me ‘you’re good enough’, ‘you can do it’. And so to see them after that performance, meant a lot to me and so very blessed to have them as my family,” Purdy said getting choked up.

Sunday’s demolition came at a price however, with seven players falling vidxm to injury for the San Francisco 49ers. Most notably WR Deebo Samuel, exiting the game in the second quarter with a serious ankle injury.

Samuel’s ankle was twisted up badly by two Tampa Bay defenders during tackle, leaving the wideout in agony on the field. After getting it stretched out by the medical staff, Samuel tried to walk off but fell back to the ground in a heap of pain once again. The cart was needed to take him to the locker room.

What looked like a serious injury may not be after all, with Shanahan saying he did not suffer a broken ankle Sunday. The early indication is a high-ankle sprain, but more tests will be done to confirm the injury over the next 24 hours.

On defense, San Francisco excelled once again, producing three turnovers against the Buccaneers. The standout performer was linebacker Dre Greenlaw, mustering up 15 tackles, one interception, and one pass break-up in week 14. A player typically flying under the radar, it may be time to consider him as a pro bowl-caliber defensive force.

“The way people talk about me, that’s how they need to talk about him,” 49ers LB Fred Warner said about his counterpart.

San Francisco now holds an active six-game win streak after Sunday, the longest active streak in the NFL. Now sitting at 9-4, the Red & Gold can clinch the NFC West with a win over the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night.


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49ers spoil Brady’s homecoming, destroy Buccaneers 35-7 despite Deebo Samuel injury