SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Brock Purdy felt it was important for the San Francisco 49ers to get back to an attacking mindset following a three-game losing streak.
The new attitude — and a couple of well-thrown deep passes — have the Niners back playing at their usual high level the past two games.
Purdy threw a 76-yard strike to Brandon Aiyuk for one of his three touchdown passes, and the 49ers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-14 on Sunday.
“We had to get back to ‘We’re going to take it,’” he said. “That’s the chip I was talking about. We had to get back to that.”
The Niners (7-3) have done just that the past two games with Purdy playing a major role, completing 78.4% of his passes for 629 yards with six TDs and no interceptions.
He was nearly perfect on Sunday, going 21 for 25 for 333 yards to join Joe Montana as the only Niners quarterbacks ever to post a perfect passer rating in a game with at least 15 attempts.
“He had a perfect passer rating? That’s incredible,” running back Christian McCaffrey said. “He’s a baller. … That doesn’t shock me but that’s impressive.”
Purdy also threw a 4-yard TD pass to McCaffrey and a 3-yarder to George Kittle to help the 49ers post a second straight lopsided win following a three-game losing streak.
After throwing five interceptions during the skid to raise doubts about his ability to lead the team, Purdy has been turnover-free the past two weeks.
“Brock’s been great because he’s been consistent through it all,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I never felt any difference with Brock during those three losses. I think he’s pretty realistic so he doesn’t get into stuff that’s not that accurate.”
Baker Mayfield threw a TD pass for Tampa Bay (4-6), but the Bucs had no answers defensively against Purdy and the 49ers and lost for the fifth time in six games.
“It’s just us,” Mayfield said. “We’ve got to get out of our own way. We got some good opportunities today that we didn’t exactly take advantage of, and so when you’re playing a team like that, you have to.”
For the second straight week, the 49ers broke the game open with a big pass play from Purdy on the opening drive of the second half.
He connected on a 66-yarder to Kittle on the second play of the third quarter last week to help fuel a 34-3 win at Jacksonville and then topped that this week.
The Niners forced a punt by the Bucs on the opening drive of the third quarter and were backed up to their own 2 following a perfectly placed punt by Jake Camarda.
A short run by McCaffrey and a 21-yard pass to Kittle moved the ball out to the 24, and Purdy struck from there. He lofted a deep throw down the sideline to Aiyuk, who beat Jamel Dean for the catch and ran it in from there for the score that made it 20-6.
“He beat us,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles said. “Credit to him. He’s a great receiver, we know that. I feel like we play man coverage very well. That time they beat us, and you know, we got beat.”
Purdy then led another scoring drive on the next possession capped by the pass to Kittle to make it a 21-point lead. The Niners held on from there, thanks in part to rookie Ji’Ayir Brown breaking up a fourth-down pass in the end zone and intercepting another throw to the end zone on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter.
BAKER VS. BOSA
The rivalry between Mayfield and Niners edge rusher Nick Bosa that dates back to college when Mayfield planted a flag at midfield at Ohio State following an Oklahoma win had some new developments.
Mayfield raised his arms triumphantly after blocking Bosa on a 6-yard end-around run by Trey Palmer. But Bosa got revenge on the next official play when he combined with Fred Warner on a sack of Mayfield that led to a lost fumble.
Buccaneers: Dean (foot, ankle) left the game in the third quarter after the TD by Aiyuk and didn’t return. … CB Carlton Davis (hip) and LB Lavonte David (groin) also left in the second half and didn’t return.
49ers: S Talanoa Hufanga left with a knee injury in the second half that Shanahan fears could be a torn ACL.
Buccaneers: Visit Indianapolis on Sunday.
49ers: Visit Seattle on Thursday night.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL