Brock Purdy torches Bucs with perfect game, and the 49ers look dominant again

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SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 19: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after throwing a pass for a touchdown during the third quarter of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium on November 19, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Brock Purdy is back. An so, apparently, are the San Francisco 49ers.

After a three-game losing streak that featured his first five interceptions of the season, Purdy sizzled for a second straight week on Sunday in a 27-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While last week’s 34-3 shellacking of the Jacksonville Jaguars was a showcase of all things 49ers on both sides of the ball, the spotlight belonged to Purdy on Sunday as he tallied 333 yards and three touchdowns while completing 21 of 25 passes. None were prettier than an 74-yard dime to Brandon Aiyuk that the 49ers receiver converted into a third-quarter touchdown to extend San Francisco’s lead to 20-7.

Aiyuk ran a go route from the slot down the right sideline while facing man coverage from cornerback Jamel Dean.Purdy identified the single coverage then lofted a deep pass down the sideline that hit Aiyuk in stride over his right shoulder. Dean fell hopelessly back to the turf with no chance of halting the play as Aiyuk sprinted to the end zone.

The touchdown pass was one of three to three different players as Purdy connected with All-Pros Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle for the other two. He averaged a whopping 13.3 yards per attempt while completing 84% of his passes against the Bucs. It added up to a perfect 158.3 passer rating on the day, a week after he averaged 11.4 yards per attempt and posted a 148.9 rating against the Jaguars. The perfect day is the first for a 49ers quarterback since Joe Montana and Steve Young both achieved the feat in 1989.

It adds up to an emphatic bounce-back after his struggles in San Francisco’s losing streak cast doubt around the unexpected hot start to his career after he took over as the 49ers starter as a rookie last season. It’s arrived at an opportunistic time as the 49ers face a critical three-game stretch with two games against the fellow NFC West hopeful Seattle Seahawks and another against the reigning NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.

San Francisco improved to 7-3 with the win to remain in first place in the division. The loss dropped the Bucs to 4-6, delivering a blow to their hopes of challenging for the NFC South crown.

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