What We Saw: Week 14

The What We Saw team recaps all of the noteworthy action from Week 14

Buccaneers @ 49ers

Final Score: 49ers 35, Buccaneers 7

Writer: Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)


Tom Brady returned home to play his childhood favorite 49ers in Santa Clara, Ca. This game had playoff implications for both teams, but only one played with the playoffs on their mind Sunday. The 49ers coming into this week, playing their third-string QB, looked to rely on their offensive weapons and their number-one-ranked defense. The 49ers picked off Brady twice and forced a fumble late, but the play of young Brock Purdy elevated the 49ers to their sixth straight victory and kept them looking like a contender. This game, unfortunately, saw Deebo Samuel leave with what is being called a “high ankle sprain.”   The game result was the San Francisco 49ers 35, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers




Tom Brady: 34/55, 253 Yards, TD, 2 INT | 2 Carries


Tom Brady got started with a decent drive that ended because he short-armed a first-down pass to Julio Jones, leading to a field goal attempt that was missed. On the next drive, Brady would connect deeply with Mike Evans for a 70-yard touchdown that an offensive holding call by Left Tackle Donovan Smith would negate. This let the air out of this offense, and not having this play ended up being critical to momentum. Brady just seemed to be off with his connections this week, facing a 21-0 deficit, and he got a three-and-out after Chris Godwin dropped a perfectly thrown slant on third down. The Bucs’ best drive would come up after a Deebo fumble, which also, unfortunately, coincided with a bad ankle injury. This would set up a 32-catch by Chris Godwin to put the Bucs in the red zone. And they went four and out after a way too low back shoulder pass to Mike Evans.

On the first drive of the half, Brady continued to struggle. He would injure his hand on this drive and would throw a costly interception on a critical drive. On his next drive, Brady would find the same result, with Dre Greenlaw tipping a ball to himself for a costly pick. On the third drive of the third quarter Brady and the Bucs finally pulled it together and lead a successful drive that culminated in an eight-yard touchdown to Russell Gage. Brady and the Bucs’ next two drives would end in a turnover on downs and a fumble (Rachaad White). It was a rough return to the bay for Brady and this team, but there is still hope for a playoff appearance. Brady has been, for the most part, good this year, but there is a real problem with the QB-WR connection this year.



Running Back


Rachaad White: 13 Carries, 56 Yards | 5 Targets, 5 Receptions, 21 Yards | 1 Fumble (Lost)

Leonard Fournette: 4 Carries, 13 Yards | 7 Targets, 6 Receptions, 33 Yards


Early on, it looked like the run game could become something of a factor for the Bucs against the 49ers. As the game got increasingly out of reach, the Bucs relied less and less on the run game. Rachaad White was the most effective running back for the Bucs, getting 77 yards on 18 touches and an unfortunate and irrelevant fumble on the last drive to end the game mercifully. Leonard Fournette was the number two back this week; while he got more targets and receiving yards than White, there was a lot more of Rachaad on the field. This overall was not a good showing for the Bucs, and the 49ers worked their formula against Tampa. Taking away their run game and forcing them to be one-dimensional. While White has looked the best out of the last two weeks, he often looked hobbled in this game. I hope there’s nothing to that, but when you have two very similarly talented guys like this it’s often a game of hot hand. So week to week, it’ll be difficult for fantasy managers of each of these guys.




Wide Receiver/Tight End


Chris Godwin: 9 Targets, 5 Receptions, 54 Yards

Mike Evans: 9 Targets, 4 Receptions, 44 Yards

Julio Jones: 8 Targets, 5 Receptions, 38 Yards

Cade Otton: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 28 Yards

Russell Gage: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 12 Yards, TD

Cameron Brate: 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 12 Yards

Ko Kieft: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 11 Yards

Scotty Miller: 1 Target



Chris Godwin caught five of nine targets for 54 yards, dropping a couple of passes that shifted the momentum. Godwin had 32 yards on one catch and missed out on a touchdown that went to Russell Gage instead.

Mike Evans missed out on a 70-yard touchdown on the team’s second drive. This ended up being the theme today for the Bucs; missed opportunities. Evans would also have a back-shoulder pass in the second half that was too low to catch. This year has been odd for Evans’ performance, but today he should’ve had two scores, but lack of discipline and a missed connection foiled those opportunities. Evans didn’t catch a pass till the second half, and his biggest play of the game was a 20-yard deep ball.

Julio Jones caught five of eight passes for 38 yards. Most of Jones’s plays this week were five-yard catches. He did have a 15-yard catch on a third and nine that got the Bucs into a first-and-goal situation and eventually led to their first and only score.

Cade Otton reeled in four of five targets for 28 yards. Otton caught two passes for 17 yards total on the lone TD drive. Russell Gage was the recipient of that touchdown, catching an eight-yard pass on the goal line.


San Francisco 49ers




Brock Purdy: 16/21, 185 Yards, 2 TD | 2 Carries, 3 Yards, TD


Brock Purdy was Purdy, Purdy good on Sunday. He started his day by taking a massive helmet-to-helmet hit from Keanu Neal, leading to 15 yards and a first down. Instead of sending the rookie into a shock and making him hesitant, this young man continued to step into all his throws and make his moves downfield. This drive came together when on third and seven, Purdy connected over the middle with George Kittle for 15, helping this team set up a 13-yard rushing TD by Deebo Samuel. On his third drive, we get to see Purdy work with his legs evading a sack and getting the ballot Kittle for a gain of 15. Purdy got some help on the drive from the Bucs’ Neal yet again, as this time it was pass interference on a pass in the endzone that would put the Niners on the two-yard line. The perfect spot to show off your mobility if you’re Purdy good, which is what Brock did with a two-yard rushing touchdown.

Purdy continued to show off his good play on the fourth drive avoiding a sack and hitting Samuel for 19 yards. Purdy would complete all four passes on this drive for 61 yards, delivering an absolute strike to Christian McCaffrey for a touchdown. This led to the stadium absolutely going bananas with “Purdy” chants. After the 49ers’ defense kept the Bucs out of the endzone, Purdy and the offense took back over, this time getting Brandon Aiyuk involved to the tune of two catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. It was out of character of the 49ers, but instead of taking the field goal, they set up a deep pass to Aiyuk, who made Jamel Dean look bad. I don’t know if there’s a better way to go into half, as Purdy went in 28-0 over the G.O.A.T.

Purdy’s second half opened up with a Brady interception and a perfect hand-off to McCaffrey for a 38-yard touchdown, 35-0 49ers. Brock didn’t have to do much in the second half and was pulled in the fourth quarter for Josh Johnson, but that doesn’t take away from how good this rookie was in his first start. For most of the game, you couldn’t tell Purdy was a rook. He made smart plays, stood in the pocket, and took his licks to get the passes off. What’s not to like about this kid at this point? It’s an incredible story, and I hope “Mr. Irrelevant” sticks this year because there’s a guy across the field who was in a similar situation, and I think it worked out pretty well for him.



Running Back


Christian McCaffrey: 14 Carries, 119 Yards, TD | 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 34 Yards, TD

Jordan Mason: 11 Carries, 56 Yards



Christian McCaffrey is the best weapon in the game. He had 153 yards and two touchdowns on 16 touches. McCaffrey had big touchdowns, catching a 27-yarder from Purdy and taking a 38-yarder to the house on the ground. CMC coming from Carolina has obviously played well against the Bucs in the past, but in this offense, he’s looked better than he has in the past two seasons. He’s attacking the gaps in the zone well and really looks spry out there. The best thing this Niners team did was take him out with a 35-point lead and leave their undrafted workhorse Jordan Mason to come in and start grinding away at that defense. Mason is a young man to watch out for in the future. Today he ran for five yards a clip and broke off a couple ten plus yard runs. This smash-and-dash approach may show up more and more in games as we approach playoff season.

Wide Receiver/Tight End


Brandon Aiyuk: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 57 Yards, TD

Deebo Samuel: 4 Carries, 21 Yards, TD | 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 43 Yards | 1 Fumble (Lost)

George Kittle: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 28 Yards

Ray-Ray McCloud III: 3 Carries, 7 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 11 Yards

Danny Gray: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 10 Yards

Kyle Juszczyk: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 7 Yards

Jauan Jennings: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 5 Yards


Brandon Aiyuk caught two of his three targets and did all of his damage on one drive, catching passes of 25 yards and 32. The best part of these catches was his ability to run after the catch, and his route running on his touchdown catch was next level. The double move on Jamel Dean made for a perfectly wide-open touchdown for Aiyuk.

Deebo Samuel had a big 13-yard carry for a touchdown and caught four of his five receptions for 43 yards. Deebo had his best receiving series on the second TD drive, catching passes of 18 and 10 yards to help set up a CMC TD. Unfortunately, we saw Deebo get carted off on the next drive with an ankle injury.

George Kittle saw five targets on Sunday, reeling in four for 28 yards. Kittle had two 15-yard catches and was silent the rest of the day. We did see Purdy go after him early and often, and with Deebo missing time in the future, Kittle may become a more reliable target for him.


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