Purdy leads 49ers over Commanders 37-20 for 8th consecutive victory

TECHNOLOGY
featured image

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – Brock Purdy broke out of a slow first half and did what he’s been doing since taking over as starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers: He made big plays.

purdy played two more long touchdown passes for George Kittle and the 49ers beat the Washington Commanders 37-20 on Saturday, clinching their eighth consecutive victory.

“He’s just passing the ball to us,” Kittle said. “He is great with football. He puts it on target. He lets guys run with him. He is super experienced in defense, he makes the guys miss.

“Your confidence is through the roof right now and I don’t know why it wouldn’t be.”

Purdy has maintained his impressive play since replacing the injured Jimmy Garoppolo earlier in Week 13, looking much better than expected for the last-placed player selected in this year’s NFL draft.

He threw two TD passes in four straight games for the 49ers (11-4) and won all three games as San Francisco keeps the pressure on Minnesota in the race for second place in the NFC.

Purdy joined Hall of Famer Kurt Warner as the only quarterback since matches began being tracked in 1950 to win his first three starts while throwing multiple touchdown passes in each game.

“I don’t really think about getting more and more comfortable or anything like that,” he said. “I still have the same fire and drive as before when I wasn’t playing. I want to come in and I want to prove it to my teammates and earn respect with every play, every pressure, every move.

taylor heinicke threw two TD passes to Washington (7-7-1), but also lost a fumble and threw an interception in the fourth quarter. He was replaced after his second offer by Carson Wentz and head coach Ron Rivera said he had not decided which quarterback will start next week.

The Commanders are winless in their last three games, but they still have a half-game lead over Seattle and Detroit in the race for the final NFC playoff spot.

“Nothing has changed, we’re still in the same situation we were going into this,” Rivers said. “We control our own destiny. We won the next two, we give ourselves a chance, so it’s up to us.”

The Niners opened the game in the third quarter thanks to some more great plays by Purdy. They kicked off the second half and advanced to the green when Kittle opened deep for a 34-yard score that he stole from intended target, teammate Ray-Ray McCloud.

Kittle scored again late in the quarter in a 33-yard catch and run to make it 21-7. Kittle also had two TD catches last week, giving him a career-high eight for the season.

“It makes my job easier,” Purdy said. “He wins man-to-man fights with his speed and everything. You just give the ball to the guy, he’ll take off.

San Francisco capitalized on big plays throughout the game, also scoring their first touchdown on a 71-yard completion by McCloud.

Nick Bosa and the Niners defense did the rest of the work with Bosa setting up a Robbie Gould field goal with a Heinicke strip bag and San Francisco adding another after Jimmie Ward got an interception in Washington territory.

Wentz, playing for the first time since Week 6, threw a 20-yard TD pass to Curtis Samuel, but it was too late for Washington.

TIP DRILL

The Commanders took advantage of some deflected passes to tie the game late in the first half.

The first came when Purdy appeared to complete a throw through the middle to Jauan Jennings. But Jennings swung the ball and dropped right to Darrick Forrest for an interception.

On the next drive, Washington converted a 3rd and 5 on a pass that Jahan Dotson swung. before catching a ricochet🇧🇷

This set up Heinicke’s 4-yard TD pass to Dotson which made it 7-7 at halftime.

FOURTH RUN STOPS

Both teams were stopped on fourth down in the red zone in the first half.

San Francisco drove to 15 on their opening drive before Christian McCaffrey was stopped by David Mayo for no gain on a fourth-and-1 shot by quarterback Kyle Juszczyk.

Washington was down to 1 early in the second quarter as Antonio Gibson was stuffed on fourth down by Fred Warner and Javon Kinlaw.

The Commanders were stopped again in the third quarter at fourth and 1 of their own 34.

INJURIES

Managers: LB Jon Bostic (pectoral) left in the second half and did not return. … DE James Smith-Williams left in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a head injury.

49ers: CB Charvarius Ward went to the locker room nauseous in the second half but returned to the game.

NEXT

Commanders: Host Cleveland on January 1st.

49ers: Visit Las Vegas on January 1st.

🇧🇷

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

🇧🇷

Tags