By Leonardo Ramirez
The 49ers dismantled another opponent Sunday afternoon: this time it was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 35-7. A game that was an all-around dominant performance from this Shanahan led 49ers team. The Niners took their ninth win with third-string rookie quarterback Brock Purdy leading the way. Without a doubt, they are playing like the best team in the National Football League.
Purdy looked “purdy” darn good for someone that had all odds against him going into the game. You would think that a whole week for an opponent to prepare would be enough to display the flaws of the young rookie quarterback, especially against a top-ten defense. But boy did he shut those critics down with one of the best first-half performances I’ve ever seen a rookie QB. Throwing for 185 yards, 2 touchdowns and a rushing touchdown to cap it off. Purdy completed 14/18 of his passing attempts on a 146.5 pass rating.
I never want to be caught up in the moment but as a Niners fan, how does this win not fill you with anything but excitement for the future? And a lot of this excitement has to do with him being “Mr. Irrelevant”, the last pick in the draft, having to take on Tom Brady in his first career start. That’s a heavy load for any quarterback, but as of right now it seems like no moment is too big for “Mr. Irrelevant”.
The defense held Brady to 7 points, only completing 34/55 of his drop backs with 253 yards on a 63.7 pass rating. His stats weren’t terrible but Brady played like he didn’t have the same vision he usually has, and had little to no answers. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen Brady look truly hopeless. Hats off to Brady for dropping back 55 times against this elite pass rush, I thought that was exceptionally impressive from the 45 year old.
It feels like every start for Purdy is going to be a big test for the rookie quarterback. And of course, this upcoming game is going to be a huge assessment of how people are gonna critique Purdy’s play. In a big game against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football, a win wouldn’t only clinch the NFC West, but it would punch a ticket to host a home playoff game.
That hasn’t necessarily been an easy task for this 49ers team, being that the Niners are only 3-10 against Pete Carroll and the Seahawks during Kyle Shanahan’s tenure as a coach. And bare in mind that the Niners need to pull off a win with a third-string rookie quarterback, in Seattle’s loud hostile environment. But seeing how efficient this offense has been playing since Purdy took place under center has been remarkable story development. There is no apparent reason to believe they cannot continue playing in the same rhythm going into Seattle.