Purdy steps up in 49ers’ first comeback attempt

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Brock Purdy passed the latest test and the San Francisco 49ers are positioned for a possible playoff bye.

On a day when San Francisco’s normally excellent defense struggled against backup quarterbacks, Purdy showed that he can be just as successful when coming from behind as he is when playing in the lead.

Purdy made it five straight games with two TD passes and threw for 284 yards to help the Niners recover from a 10-point deficit in the second half and defeat the Las Vegas Raiders. 37-34 in overtime 9 consecutive wins on Sunday.

“Nobody wants a close game,” Purdy said. “You always want to score points and win in a comfortable way. But for us to go through a scenario like that, for offense and for myself, the game is on the line. There are all sorts of things like going down the field, making points and trusting defenses.

“I think it’s great to see where we are in terms of what the goal of all this is. It’s good for us to experience it.”

The 49ers (12-4) could clinch the No. 2 seed in the NFC if they beat Arizona next week or lose to Minnesota. If Philadelphia loses to the Giants in Week 18, San Francisco could also target the No. 1 seed.

Purdy hadn’t taken a single hit in the second half of a game with San Francisco trailing since taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo when he was injured in the first quarter of Week 13.

But Purdy was unfazed after the Raiders led 24 for 14 early in the third quarter. Purdy led San Francisco with four scoring drives on their next five possessions, pushing the 49ers into potential winning field goal position missed by Robbie Gould at the end of regulation.

San Francisco won after Tashaun Gipson intercepted Jarrett Stidham to set up a game-winner for Gould.

It was one of the few big defensive plays from the Niners to allow 34 points and 500 yards in their worst performance since their 44-23 loss to the Chiefs in Week 7.

“Obviously there’s a lot to fix defensively, but for us to win with the offense in control was tremendous for us,” Botha said. “It was needed. I’m proud of them.

what is working

Pass the ball to Christian McCaffrey. The running back Niners had his 19 career 121 yards, his 6 catches for 72 yards, and recorded his TD in five straight games. McCaffrey also produced nine first downs in the game and posted a team-high 60 on the season despite playing only 10 games for San Francisco.

what needs work

Deep pass defense. Stidham said on December 7, 2020, Josh made 5 passes the Niners threw more than 20 yards downfield on him, as Allen also passed his 5.

stock up

offensive line. The Niners disallowed their fifth sack of the season. Wright his tackle Mike McGrinchie, but Raiders Star Edge his rusher Max he successfully neutralized Crosby. The line also helped San Francisco achieve his 170-yard rushing, his fourth in six seasons under Shanahan.

stock down

Gould missed a potential winning field goal when his try from 41 yards on the final play of regulation went wide right. Gould has missed his goals five fields this season, with all of his mistakes coming from his kicks from under 50 yards. The last Niners kicker he made many mistakes from within 50 yards during the season was David his Akers in 2012 when he recorded 9 yards.


G Aaron Bucks (knee, ankle) is likely to miss this week’s game, but could return to the playoffs. … The Niners are awaiting further information on LB Dre Greenlaw’s back injury, but he could play this week. … McCaffrey (ankle) every day. … WR Deebo Samuel (knee, ankle) and RB Elijah Mitchell (knee) will practice this week and may return on Sunday.

key number

2-33 — The Niners made a rare double-digit comeback under coach Kyle Shanahan. This was just the second time on 35 tries since Shanahan took over that San Francisco won the game after trailing by at least 10 points in the second half. The other came in Week 18 last season against the Rams.

what’s next

San Francisco hosts Arizona on Sunday.


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