The San Francisco 49ers were up against another team from the Sunshine State in Week 11 as they hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is the second time in as many seasons the Buccaneers have traveled to Levi's® Stadium for a bout with the 49ers, and the last time they were in town, quarterback Brock Purdy made his first-career start. With the 27-14 win over Tampa Bay this time around, Purdy improves to 2-0 over the Buccaneers and helped secure San Francisco's seventh win of the season while also earning a perfect passer rating.
"I thought (Purdy) played very well. There were very few that he missed," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "He protected the ball extremely well. When there wasn't anything there, we didn't have any intentional groundings, and also, we did a good job of moving the chains in there on that keeper. I thought he had a hell of a game."
Here are five takeaways from Sunday's game:
Restarting the CMC Touchdown-Scoring Streak
Running back Christian McCaffrey had his 17-game touchdown scoring streak end in Week 10 after not reaching the end zone in Jacksonville. On Sunday, the seventh-year pro restarted the streak with a four-yard receiving touchdown in the first quarter to give San Francisco the early advantage. McCaffrey cut through the offensive line to get wide open on the right side and stroll into the end zone. He had 14 carries for 59 yards on the ground in addition to his five catches for 25 yards and a touchdown through the air.
Creating Takeaway Trouble for Tampa Bay
The 49ers pass rush continued to operate in high gear for the second-straight week, generating two sacks and a turnover in the first half. Linebacker Fred Warner and defensive lineman Nick Bosa got home on the second of Tampa Bay's offensive possessions. Midway through their sack of Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield, Warner forced the ball loose and defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell came in clutch with a fumble recovery. The 49ers went on to score a 37-yard field goal on the ensuing possession to take the 10-0 lead with 7:21 left in the second quarter.
The 49ers second sack came on the Buccaneers final offensive series of the first half. Defensive lineman Arik Armstead brought down Mayfield for a loss of eight yards to force Tampa Bay into a second and long situation. In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, rookie Ji'Ayir Brown intercepted Mayfield in the end zone during Tampa Bay's second to last offensive series of the game.
"To talk about the way Ji'Ayir played today and being ready for his moment, I can't say enough about it," Warner said. "That's huge. Even though we up in the game, to be down there in the red zone and make the plays that he made to help us get out of there speaks to the way that he has worked and been ready for his opportunity."
The rookie kicker recorded his third-straight perfect kicking day in Week 11. The third-round pick went two-for-two on 37-yard and 28-yard field goal attempts in the first half and hit all three of his PATs against the Buccaneers.
A New Career-Best for Brock Purdy
Purdy bested his previous career-long touchdown pass (66 yards) set in Week 10 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 76-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk on the first offensive series of the third quarter. With time in the pocket, Purdy dropped a dime to No. 11 who was one-on-one with Buccaneers cornerback Jamel Dean. Aiyuk caught the pass near the Tampa Bay 40 yard line and went untouched into the end zone.
Much like the 49ers second-half two-play, 75-yard scoring drive against the Jaguars, this three-play, 98-yard scoring drive also fired up the 49ers offense who went on to score once more on a three-yard strike to George Kittle in the back of the end zone. Purdy closed out the day connecting 21-of-25 passes for 333 yards, three touchdowns and a passer rating of 158.3, the highest possible mark.
"What an honor, but at the same time, there's still some plays I wish I had back," Purdy said when asked about the perfect passer rating. "I'm not completely content with just that, but I thought it was a great game with the guys around me, the coaching, the play calling, all of it. That's a testament to the team."
Aiyuk closed out Week 11 as Purdy's top target racking up five catches for 156 yards a touchdown.
Safety Talanoa Hufanga suffered a knee injury midway through the third quarter of Sunday's game. The injury appeared to be non-contact and occurred during his attempt to stop a Buccaneers passing play near the right sideline. Hufanga was carted to the locker room and ruled out of the contest shortly after. Head coach Kyle Shanahan noted that the third-year pro will undergo further evaluation on Monday for a potential ACL injury.
Rookie Ji'Ayir Brown stepped in and played alongside Tashaun Gipson Sr. on the backend for the remainder of the game. During the fourth quarter, he had a pass breakup on a fourth down attempt by Tampa Bay, and on the next Buccaneers possession intercepted Mayfield in the end zone.
"I thought (Ji'Ayir) did a hell of job," Shanahan said. "To lose a player like Huf in the game, and for him to come in and step it up big, make two huge plays. The pick was huge. Then, the fourth down where you get the all out blitz, and they just throw it up... it's so hard not to get a PI. For him not to get the PI the guy, and to get back, and from what I saw, it looked like he knocked it down. That was a hell of a play."