For the second straight season, the San Francisco 49ers will head to Seattle on a short week following a home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Last year’s win over the Buccaneers, of course, was a blowout. The 49ers were up 28-0 at halftime and could afford to go into autopilot a bit in the second half. Sunday’s victory was a little more hard-fought with the 49ers’ top defensive unit playing until the final possession. San Francisco won the time-of-possession battle, but only by 51 seconds.
The Buccaneers had the ball for most of the second half, including on a marathon 17-play drive in the fourth quarter that resulted in no points. They ran 71 plays vs. 60 for the 49ers. Here’s how the individual snaps were divided:
Quarterback: Brock Purdy 60
When a quarterback is ultra-efficient like Purdy was — he completed 84 percent of his passes — he’s usually feasting on short throws and checkdowns. Purdy, however, achieved his high completion percentage with aggressive, downfield throws, including a 76-yard pass to his left and a 40-yarder to his right.
He’s 22-of-33 (66.7 percent) on throws of 20 or more yards this season. The only other NFL starting quarterback with a percentage in the 60s is the Houston Texans’ C.J. Stroud, who is 23-of-38 (60.5 percent).
Brock was cookin’ 🔥 All the highlights from his perfect performance.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 20, 2023
Purdy produces first 49ers perfect passer rating since Montana
Running back: Christian McCaffrey 52, Elijah Mitchell 8, Deebo Samuel 4, Jordan Mason 2
The Buccaneers did a good job of bottling up the 49ers’ running game, especially the outside runs to the left. Samuel was stopped for a 1-yard loss on the game’s first snap; McCaffrey later lost 2 yards on an outside zone run to the left. Twelve of McCaffrey’s 21 carries went for 2 or fewer yards.
He did, however, reach the end zone in the first quarter, the 14th time he’s scored this season. That’s the most touchdowns for a 49er through 10 games since Jerry Rice had 13 in 1989.
Wide receiver: Brandon Aiyuk 53, Samuel 47, Jauan Jennings 20, Ronnie Bell 5, Ray-Ray McCloud III 2
Aiyuk has been the main beneficiary of Purdy’s deep-ball prowess. He emerged from Week 11 averaging 19.3 yards per catch, which ranks second in the NFL. Aiyuk reached a career-high speed of 20.33 mph on his 76-yard touchdown, which made him the ninth-fastest ball carrier in the league this weekend, per Next Gen Stats.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 19, 2023
Tight end: George Kittle 58, Charlie Woerner 22, Ross Dwelley 2
Kittle, who had one catch for 1 yard in a Week 6 loss to the Cleveland Browns, has had 25 catches for 432 yards and two touchdowns in the four games since. He’s on pace to finish the season with 1,102 yards, which would be the third time he’s gone over 1,000 yards in his career and the first time since 2019.
Offensive line: Jon Feliciano 60, Jake Brendel 60, Spencer Burford 60, Colton McKivitz 60, Trent Williams 58, Jaylon Moore 2
Burford, who had a strong outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars, fell back to earth a bit by allowing a team-high four quarterback pressures, including a sack in the fourth quarter. The outing might rekindle the idea of platooning Burford and Feliciano at right guard over the back stretch of the season.
Williams, meanwhile, might not be fully recovered from his recent injury, but his right ankle appeared to be better than the 70 to 75 percent estimate he gave it after surrendering four pressures to the Jaguars. He gave up just one pressure Sunday.
- Burford 4
- Brendel 3
- Feliciano 3
- McKivitz 2
- Williams 1
Defensive line: Nick Bosa 62, Arik Armstead 53, Javon Hargrave 50, Chase Young 48, Javon Kinlaw 21, Clelin Ferrell 20, Kevin Givens 18, Randy Gregory 12
Bosa, who played just 37 snaps against the Jaguars, went over the 60-snap mark for the fifth time this season. He only had one such game — 60 snaps in the overtime win over the Las Vegas Raiders — last season.
Bosa’s strong outing included nine quarterback pressures, tying his season high. The standout in that category, however, was Armstead, who was credited with 12 pressures and 10 quarterback hurries to go along with his second quarter sack. According to Pro Football Focus, those are the most pressures and hurries in his nine-year career.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 19, 2023
Linebacker: Warner 71, Greenlaw 71, Oren Burks 14
Warner celebrated his 27th birthday with perhaps his most complete game of the season, one that included a team-high 12 tackles, a half sack (shared with Bosa), a forced fumble and two pass breakups. Batted passes were a theme of the afternoon: The 49ers had 11 against the Buccaneers, the most they’ve had in one game since 2016.
Cornerback: Deommodore Lenoir 71, Charvarius Ward 70, Ambry Thomas 57, Oliver 1
Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans had a touchdown, but he was held to five catches on 12 targets with most of those receptions occurring with the 49ers ahead 27-7 and playing a bend-but-don’t-break mentality.
For the second straight game, the 49ers tapped Lenoir, not Oliver, as their nickel cornerback, which put Thomas in some critical one-on-one matchups against Evans. The Buccaneers targeted him five times, completing three passes for 16 yards, including Evans’ short touchdown.
Safety: Gipson, Ji’Ayir Brown 36, Talanoa Hufanga 35
Kyle Shanahan on Monday confirmed what was suspected Sunday afternoon — that Hufanga had torn his right ACL in the third quarter and would be lost for the season. The silver lining, Shanahan said, is that there’s no meniscus tear involved and that Hufanga’s repair should be a relatively straightforward procedure.
“If everything goes smoothly, he should be ready for Week 1,” Shanahan said.
Brown replaced Hufanga when the Buccaneers were trailing by 20 points, which meant that 32 of his 36 snaps were pass plays. Brown gave up Tampa Bay’s longest play of the afternoon, a 41-yard reception on which Brown seemed too eager to jump into the flat. He made up for it with three plays in the end zone — two pass breakups and an interception that sealed the game.
Ji’Ayir Brown the latest 49ers youngster to answer the call against Buccaneers
Special teams: Woerner 20, George Odum 17, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 17, Burks 15, Shemar Jean-Charles 15, Dee Winters 15, Mason 15, Dwelley 14, Brown 12, Darrell Luter Jr. 11, Jake Moody 11, Mitch Wishnowsky 8, Taybor Pepper 8, Oliver 6, McCloud 6, Burford 5, McKivitz 5, Moore 5, Feliciano 5, Corey Luciano 5, Matt Pryor 5, Ronnie Bell 4
Devin Thomkins’ 51-yard punt return in the fourth quarter was the longest return — either kickoff or punt — against the 49ers this season. It occurred when Odum and Dwelley fell for Thompson’s initial juke to his right and overran the play. Jean-Charles, meanwhile, wasn’t able to contain Thompkins when he broke to his left.
Brown wasn’t the only notable rookie on Sunday. Luter and Luciano saw their first NFL snaps against the Buccaneers.
(Photo of Arik Armstead: Darren Yamashita / USA Today)
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