SANTA CLARA — The last time Brock Purdy faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was in his NFL debut last season as the 49ers’ starting quarterback.
It was a perfect moment Sunday afternoon as Purdy once again led his team to a 27-14 victory over the Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium.
Purdy’s nerves were sharper again in that Week 14 game during the 2022 NFL season, but the pressure he puts on himself to play a better game is even higher in 2023. Even after completing 21 of his 25 attempts for 333 yards, three touchdowns and a perfect passer rating On Sunday, there is more work to be done.
“There are still some plays I wish I could get back,” Purdy said after the game. “I’m not completely satisfied with it, but it was a great game with the players around me, the training and the call to play. All of it.”
Purdy’s efficiency in the passing game included completing five of his six attempts to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for 156 yards and a 76-yard touchdown play. Purdy’s previous career completion was a 74-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel in the wild-card round of the 2022 NFL playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks.
Aiyuk’s previous best performance was a 54-yard reception from Brock Purdy in Week 16 of the 2022 season during a win over the Washington Commanders. And after Sunday’s win, he believes not much has changed for the quarterback since that first start against Tampa Bay last year.
“I always got the same feeling from him, the same energy from him,” Aiyuk said. “Not as a player anyway.”
Christian McCaffrey also played a big role in the offense with 21 carries for 78 yards while also scoring all five of his targets for 25 yards and a touchdown. The All-Pro running back believes nothing shakes the quarterback.
“He was great, just like he does every game,” McCaffrey said. “Balanced, calm, composed, competitive, and made some great plays. He was always the same guy. A great competitor, leader and great ballplayer.”
McCaffrey and his quarterback are two peas in a pod striving for perfection. In a fourth-and-short situation late in the game, McCaffrey was unable to help his team convert and was seen on the sidelines visibly upset after failing to gain yardage.
This need for perfection may be why McCaffrey was so emotional when told of Purdy’s perfect evaluation.
“Dang, he had a perfect pass rating?” McCaffrey said. “It’s unbelievable. He’s a football player. And that’s good defense, too. It doesn’t shock me, but it’s impressive. I’m happy for him.”
The 49ers face a tough three-game series next, starting with a Thanksgiving matchup against their Western Conference rival Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night. But only for a short time, Purdy will enjoy this win.
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