The 49ers smashed Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in Week 14, meaning there are plenty of Niners studs and zero duds from the one-sided performance.
No quarterback making his first-ever NFL start had beaten the greatest of all time, quarterback Tom Brady.
Yet that was the ask of the San Francisco 49ers’ first-year signal-caller, Brock Purdy, who just so happened to be the third quarterback the Niners have turned to this season after losing both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo to season-ending injuries.
Granted, Purdy benefited from the fact Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense have struggled this season, averaging a shade better than 18 points per game prior to Sunday’s bout. And that didn’t bode well against San Francisco’s top-ranked defense.
However, Purdy was still going to match up against another good defense in that of the Bucs.
All one needs to do, though, is look at both the final score of 35-7 in favor of the 49ers, as well as Purdy being responsible for three touchdowns (two through the air and another on the ground) to see how the rookie edged out the veteran.
By a lot.
As such, Purdy is the appropriate choice to lead off the list of Niners studs from Week 14, and there aren’t going to be any duds from the game either.
49ers stud: QB Brock Purdy
Purdy’s final line isn’t going to jump off the stat sheet by any means, but it’s impressive for a seventh-round rookie NFL Draft pick making his first start against a top-five defense.
Mr. Irrelevant no more, Purdy went 16-of-21 for 185 yards, two passing touchdowns, a rushing touchdown, zero interceptions thrown and a passer rating of 134.0.
Good stats, yes. But his two pass scores, one to running back Christian McCaffrey and another to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, were both of 25-plus yards and within the crucial moments late in the second quarter before halftime.
Those throws were cool, yes. However, one of the more impressive plays wasn’t a touchdown but rather an improvising scramble in which the rookie showed off some elusiveness and then delivered a pass for a first down while on the run:
Perhaps that was Purdy’s most excellent play on an afternoon where he had plenty of them.
If there were massive concerns about not being able to rise to the occasion after San Francisco lost Garoppolo in Week 13, Purdy helped erase them in a big way.