49ers who can’t let Brock Purdy down vs. Buccaneers

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /
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6-6. 48. 8-4. 4:25 p.m. ET. Fox. Sunday, Dec. 11. 42. 49ers -3.5

As the 49ers turn to Brock Purdy to round out the rest of the regular season, these Niners players have to ensure they pick him up against the Buccaneers on Sunday.

The San Francisco 49ers are talented enough and deep enough to not only make the postseason, but they’re talented and deep enough to potentially make it all the way to the NFC Championship game.

Perhaps beyond and to the Super Bowl. Even with rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, not Jimmy Garoppolo, under center.

As soon as the Niners had to turn to their third-string quarterback, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, they knew the rest of the roster would have to elevate him over the five remaining regular-season games and whatever postseason success they enjoy.

While Purdy handled himself well in relief of the injured Garoppolo in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, going up against a well-coached Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense this Sunday, led by head coach Todd Bowles won’t be an easy one. Forget about squaring off opposite the future Hall of Famer and the GOAT, Tom Brady, it’ll be the Bucs defense that’ll make life challenging on Purdy.

Simply put, Purdy will need to “have a little help” from his friends this Sunday, and these four San Francisco players better not let him down.

No. 4: 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey

Yes, it’s time to dog right tackle Mike McGlinchey a bit more again. Perhaps unfairly, as his pass-protection skills should be looked at as average, although in the moments where he’s beaten, it has looked bad.

Either way, Bowles has historically loved dialing up blitzes, which won’t exactly make life easy on a rookie. And with McGlinchey the well-known pass-protecting weakness outside, Tampa Bay is likely to send the extra pressure on his side.

It’ll be in Purdy’s face, and he already showed some pluck in handling the Dolphins’ blitz packages a week ago.

Things might get a bit trickier, however, when McGlinchey is tasked with protecting against four-man rushes. In these situations, Purdy isn’t going to be anticipating the extra pressure, meaning the embattled right tackle needs to be on his top game to ensure the rookie is adequately protected.