Any football fan will tell you, whether it’s at school, work, or turning on your favorite sports talk show— Monday mornings are for bragging rights, armchair quarterbacks, and “Did you see when?!” This Monday morning, Bucs fans giving a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of the game will start with the—
First quarter- Tampa Bay rebounded with a win against the Tennessee Titans a week ago. This week, the Buccaneers needed to ride that momentum into San Francisco to take down the 6-3 49ers. With the game’s opening possession, that momentum continued. Tampa Bay forced San Francisco into a punt, following a Lavonte David sack— his third of the season. A fair catch interference penalty gave Tampa’s offense immaculate field position to start their opening possession. The team managed just three total yards and gave the ball back to Brock Purdy and the 49ers.
On their second possession, San Francisco gave the Buccaneers a heavy dosage of Christian McCaffrey. Taking small bite sized chunks out of Tampa’s defense, the 49ers drove 12 plays and the drive’s twelfths play was, of course, a Christian McCaffrey touchdown.
Baker Mayfield played nine snaps of offense, in the first quarter, while San Francisco's offense was on the field for nearly 20. Down seven, facing a 10:06—4:54 time of possession deficit the Bucs took a promising drive into the quarter number two.
Second quarter- Baker Mayfield started off the second quarter with an edge-setting block against Nick Bosa. Unfortunately for Tampa, he followed his block with a drive-ending fumble. The 49ers converted Mayfield’s fumble into three more points and took a 10-0 lead. In a first half that seemed to be fly by, the Buccaneers’ next opportunity on offense took the clock down to the two-minute warning.
The Bucs marched down the field, which has started to become a trend over the last few weeks for the Tampa Bay’s offense, capping off a 75-yard drive with Mike Evans’ first reception of the day— An endzone shot from Mayfield to Evans on the tenth play of the drive.
Mike Evans' first catch of the day = Bucs Touchdown!pic.twitter.com/DgVmM2mlUz— DraftKings (@DraftKings) November 19, 2023
Being the championship caliber team that they are, the 49ers responded to the Buccaneers’ score with a scoring drive of their own. San Francisco added another three points before the mid-game break, taking a 13-7 lead into the half.
Third quarter- The team’s decision to defer gave them first dibs in the second half. Those dibs got Tampa the right to punt first, as a third down throw to Trey Palmer hit the ground and Jake Camarda hit the field. Camarda’s punt placed the 49ers at their own two yard line. For the Buccaneers’ up and down defense, that simply meant 98 yards to the goal line. San Francisco wasted no time. Kyle Shanahan dialed up a deep shot and Jamel Dean’s poor season continued. Brandon Aiyuk left Tampa’s freshly paid cornerback flat footed at the line of scrimmage and sailed to the endzone— 20-7 San Francisco.
Tampa’s defense has been relatively suspect this season (in comparison to season’s of late). Their suspicious nature maintained a steady pace this week as San Francisco’s offense moved the ball with minimal obstruction. 27 points and an 8.6 yards per play average at the end of quarter for the 49ers shows how far the mighty have fallen. The Bucs’ defense let up more points in quarter number three than they did in the entirety of the first half. Put a check in the box for halftime adjustments.
Fourth quarter- Down but not out, Baker Mayfield threw a strike to Rakim Jarrett for 41 yards. The ensuing sequence of a pass interference penalty and a Rachaad White run got Tampa back across the goal line for their second score.
Two targets for Mike Evans, in the first half, turned into a second half Mike Evans feature piece. Evans had one catch before the intermission and finished his day with five catches for 43 yards.
A late fourth quarter explosion, on a Deven Thompkins punt return, gave Tampa Bay a last gasp chance. Cade Otton dropped what could’ve been a outcome altering play. Otton had the ball in both of his hands, in the endzone, and failed to secure it. Despite some last-second heroics, a tipped ball interception by Baker Mayfield (on the next play) was the dagger. The Buccaneers will be heading back to the east coast at 4-6
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