Five 49ers to watch in full-circle Week 11 clash vs. Buccaneers

Five 49ers to watch in full-circle Week 11 clash vs. Buccaneers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SANTA CLARA — When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came to Levi’s Stadium last season, the 49ers were at a crossroads.

Their top two quarterbacks to open the season, Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, were out with season-ending injuries, and largely unknown Brock Purdy stepped in with Tom Brady starting on the other side.

That was in Week 14. Purdy outperformed Brady, and there was never again any debate as to the identity of the 49ers’ long-term quarterback.

“It was huge,” said Purdy, whose 109.9 passer rating currently leads the NFL. “Just like the confidence that came from knowing that, all right, you know, I can play in this league.

“We were on a roll, too. We had our sights set on finishing out the season strong.”

And, again, that’s where the 49ers are today.

The 49ers (6-3) are in the hunt for the NFC West and, perhaps, even the top seed in the NFC.

After this game, the 49ers’ postseason position could come into focus with successive games at Seattle, at Philadelphia and, again, against Seattle at Levi’s Stadium.

But, first, they can ill-afford another slip-up as a decisive favorite.

Here are five 49ers to watch in their game Sunday against the Brady-less Buccaneers:

The 49ers have a completely different aura on defense when linebacker Dre Greenlaw is healthy, playing fast and being ultra-aggressive.

Greenlaw has been slowed this season due to ankle, hamstring and shoulder injuries. The bye week was just what the doctor ordered, as Greenlaw came back last week and looked like his usual self against the Jaguars.

He is no longer listed on the injury report, and he is practicing and playing without any restrictions.

A year ago, Greenlaw collected an interception against Brady. Afterward, he asked Brady to autograph the football. Graciously, he did.

Regardless, there will be no postgame autograph on Sunday from first-year Tampa Bay quarterback Baker…

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Author : NBC Sports BayArea

Publish date : 2023-11-17 19:26:12

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