Brock Purdy, 49ers spoil Tom Brady homecoming in lopsided win over Buccaneers

Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

42. Final. 7. 48. 35

Tom Brady returned to face the 49ers in the Bay Area for only the second time in his career, but Brock Purdy and a stout defense turned the homecoming into a nightmare.

The Week 14 contest between the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers could have been viewed as a “David versus Goliath” contest, at least in terms of the quarterbacks involved at the square-off at Levi’s Stadium.

On the Bucs’ end, Tom Brady, the greatest to ever do it under center. On the other, Brock Purdy, the Niners’ rookie who just so happened to be the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and who was also making his first-ever NFL start after his team lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a serious foot injury last week.

No way San Francisco could win that, right?

Well, not only did Purdy and the 49ers emerge victorious, they did so in dominant fashion 35-7, spoiling Brady’s return to his boyhood Northern California and ensuring the homecoming would be a game he’d prefer to forget.

Even by the end of the first half, Purdy was already dominating the action, responsible for one rushing touchdown and another two via the passing game, and the rookie would go on to pad his eye-popping stat totals once the second half rolled along.

This bomb of a throw to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk was something else, too, helping further the Niners’ one-sided lead:

Forget being a rookie. Purdy looked like he was a three-year veteran under center against a Bucs defense that entered the contest ranked fifth best in scoring.

49ers vs. Buccaneers: Brock Purdy dominates Tom Brady in the numbers department

Check out the two quarterbacks’ game lines from Sunday afternoon:

  • Brock Purdy: 16-of-21, 185 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, 134.0 passer rating
  • Tom Brady: 34-of-55, 253 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 63.7 passer rating

Not only did San Francisco’s NFL-best defense make Brady look more like a rookie seventh-round pick than Purdy, but Tampa Bay only managed to garner a mere 316 total yards of offense, too.

Nothing Brady could do to help resolve that challenge.

Meanwhile, Purdy relied on his offensive cast for plenty of support, getting touchdowns from wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, while also finding running back Christian McCaffrey for a 27-yard touchdown pass down the sideline:

The Buccaneers, who have been dealing with offensive challenges all year long, won’t head back to Florida in a good mood after what happened at Levi’s Stadium.

49ers should celebrate big win vs. Buccaneers, but Deebo Samuel injury is brutal

Late in the second half, Samuel attempted an inside run but was hit by two Bucs defenders, one of which landed on him and rolled the wide receiver’s leg awkwardly underneath.

Samuel fumbled on the play, and Tampa Bay recovered. And while the 49ers were able to defensively absorb that turnover by forcing the Buccaneers to turn it over later on downs, the bigger story was Samuel being carted off the field in obvious pain.

A number of Niners teammates came over to show Samuel support, and the All-Pro was visibly emotional as he was being carted off.

And while San Francisco initially ruled him as questionable to return with an ankle injury, it wasn’t long thereafter for him to be ruled out entirely.

Now, the focus will be on Monday’s press conference to confirm the severity of the injury to one of the 49ers’ best offensive players, a loss they can ill afford heading into the stretch run of the regular season and with playoff berths on the line.

At least the Niners can do so with a 9-4 record after beating the Bucs, though.

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