The San Francisco 49ers have become scariest team in the NFL for the final seven weeks of the season. On Sunday, the Niners continued to demonstrate their dominance over NFC by closing and nearly closing the Tom Brady and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 35-7. Aside from having the best defense in the league, the most striking feature in San Francisco is their resilience.
This Niners team is growing and playing so cohesively that it doesn’t matter who they throw in the most important position in football. San Francisco dropped to their third-string QB, a guy named Brock Purdy who was picked last and considered “Mr. Not relevant” in the April draft.
Everything Purdy did in the first game after replacing the injured Jimmy Garoppolo passed the greatest QB in NFL history. Purdy’s stat line wasn’t too impressive, but under the circumstances, he played as well as #bangbangninergang could have hoped for. The seventh-round pick completed more than 76% of his passes with just five failings. He threw as many touchdowns as Brady chose, that’s twice.
Purdy is a game manager and then some, as he makes games when required and is not just obstinate for dear life. After Jimmy G lost to Miami last week, it initially felt like the wind blew the Niners’ sails as Garoppolo recently played the best football of his career. The new kid on the block, Purdy, arrived early in the 49ers’ win over the Dolphins and showed a couple of things could happen. This week against the Bucs, he supported that by posting a rating of 134 passers in attendance with his family, whom he went to and hugged in the stands after the win.
Although the Niners played great all around, there was another tense moment this week when All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel went down with what is being reported as a high ankle sprain. It sucked that Samuel was sent off, and after watching that scene with halftime left five minutes, a little doubt arose even with a 21-0 lead.
But that injury to one of San Francisco’s best players spurred them to play on both sides. It would have been easy to take a three-point lead, but the Niners have done what they have through this six-game winning streak. They continued to play tight defense and put the ball into the opponent’s net. SF added 14 points after Samuel left the game.
Christian McCaffrey dashed to 114 yards and TD, averaging 8.5 yards per attempt. Jordan Mason even contributed 56 yards and more than 5 yards each time. The Niners’ defense caught two of Brady’s passes, and while they didn’t score a single official goal, they faced him all day. Brady gets the ball out so quickly that it’s difficult to go home, but putting pressure on his face clearly works, especially at this stage.
Simply put, the 49ers are doing very well. Really amazing. The Cowboys, Vikings, and, dare I say, even the “all-powerful” Philadelphia Eagles don’t want to face these Niners after the season.