Brock Purdy, Kyle Shanahan reveal brutal gaffe that led to red-zone INT vs. Bengals

One mistake led to another for Brock Purdy and the 49ers in Week 8, including a brutal red-zone interception.
Germaine Pratt of the Cincinnati Bengals intercepts a pass from Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers intended for Elijah Mitchell
Germaine Pratt of the Cincinnati Bengals intercepts a pass from Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers intended for Elijah Mitchell / Loren Elliott/GettyImages

Brock Purdy's first interception in Week 8 against the Bengals was painful, as it was both in the red zone and picked off by a defensive lineman.

The San Francisco 49ers have been prone to making a few too many mistakes as of late, and that's a key reason why they've lost three games in a row.

Including a 31-17 drubbing at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, which sent the reeling Niners to a 5-3 record after a perfect 5-0 start, as well as falling to second place behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West.

Quarterback Brock Purdy has gone from an underdog sensation to a turnover-prone liability over that stretch, too, now having tossed five interceptions in those three games.

Two more were added to the list on Sunday.

While the second of Purdy's picks was a commonly seen error where he failed to recognize a lurking linebacker over the middle of the field, his first interception was a bit of an odd play. Edge Germaine Pratt tipped the ball to himself for the pick on an attempt intended for running back Elijah Mitchell:

Very odd indeed. But, what was more brutal about it was where it occured.

The red zone. On the Bengals' 8-yard line.

Granted, unlike what CBS Sports' Tony Romo said on the replay, it wouldn't have actually gone for a touchdown if Pratt didn't get his hand on the ball and Mitchell was able to haul it in. Left guard Aaron Banks was flagged for being ineligible down the field, hence the yellow flag on the play.

Declined, it was simply a devastating turnover that Purdy and Co. needed to avoid.

But there was a mistake that preceded it.

Brock Purdy and Kyle Shanahan reveal why red-zone INT took place

Interceptions are mistakes in themselves, but it turns out this pass never should have happened.

According to both Purdy and head coach Kyle Shanahan, the quarterback actually missed the hand-off with tight end George Kittle.

"[It was] just supposed to be a hand-off to him," Shanahan said of the play. "And we missed the handoff, and he tried to scramble out of there. And by that time, you don't want to throw it down the field because people are run-blocking. So we just missed the hand-off and made a mistake after it."

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Definitely a big mistake, one that Purdy would certainly like to have back.

"I should have handed it off. Simple as that," Purdy concluded. "It was an option play with [TE] George [Kittle] coming backside to toss it to him. Once I pulled it to go toss it to him, it wasn't there. So, I tried making something up and just scrambling to the right. ... So, I saw Elijah in the corner of the end zone and tried making something happen there. But regardless, it would've been a penalty. So, that's on me."

On the very next snap he took, Purdy tossed his second of two interceptions on the day. But this particular one, at a point when San Francisco was trailing by seven points, seemed to flip the momentum completely out of the 49ers' reach.

And those kinds of devastating mistakes have wreaked havoc on Purdy and the Niners' record as the halfway point of the season hits.

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