BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Behind Enemy Lines: Brock Purdy-led 49ers eyeing No. 1 seed
Jan 4, 2023, 10:00 AM
The Arizona Cardinals (4-12) visit the San Francisco 49ers (12-4) at Levi’s Stadium in the regular season finale on Sunday.
Behind Enemy Lines brings you the key storylines and latest news for the Cardinals’ opponent each week this season.
Brock Purdy-led comeback vs. Raiders has 49ers eyeing No. 1 seed
By The Associated Press
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Brock Purdy passed his latest test and now has the San Francisco 49ers in position for a possible playoff bye.
On a day when San Francisco’s usually stellar defense struggled against a backup quarterback, Purdy showed he can thrive just as much when coming from behind as he has playing with a lead.
Purdy, an Arizona native and product of Perry High School, had his fifth straight game with two TD passes and threw for 284 yards to help the Niners rally from a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat the Las Vegas Raiders 37-34 in overtime on Sunday for their ninth straight win.
“I don’t think anybody wants to make a game close or anything,” the rookie out of Iowa State said. “You always want to put up points and win in a comfortable way. But for us to go through that kind of scenario and for our offense and then even for myself, game is on the line, we have to move down the field and put up points and trust the defense, all that kind of stuff.
“I think it was great for seeing where we’re at in terms of what our goal is in all of this. It’s good for us to go through that.”
The 49ers (12-4) can clinch the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a win against Arizona next week or a loss by Minnesota. San Francisco also has a shot at the No. 1 seed and a bye if Philadelphia loses to the Giants in Week 18.
Purdy hadn’t taken a single snap on offense in the second half of a game with San Francisco trailing since taking over when Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt in the first quarter in Week 13.
But Purdy was unflappable after the Raiders took a 24-14 lead early in the third quarter. Purdy led San Francisco on four scoring drives on the next five possessions and then drove the 49ers into position for a potential winning field goal that Robbie Gould missed at the end of regulation.
San Francisco won it after Tashaun Gipson intercepted Jarrett Stidham to set up Gould’s game-winner.
That was one of the few big defensive plays from the Niners on a day when they allowed 34 points and 500 yards in their worst performance since a 44-23 loss to the Chiefs in Week 7.
“Obviously a ton to correct defensively, but for the offense to take control and win it for us was ginormous,” Bosa said. “We needed that. I’m proud of them.