In the Week 14 clash, featuring two division leaders, the San Francisco 49ers dominated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on their home turf. The Bucs drop to a 6-7 record following a 35-7 loss to the 49ers. Tampa Bay entered the game with the goal of strengthening their cushion in the NFC South and instead, the 49ers dominated for four quarters. Many of the same issues that have plagued the Buccaneers throughout the 2022 slate came to fruition on Sunday: penalties, ineffectiveness on third down, blown assignments and missed tackles.
In the first half, the 49ers imposed their will on both sides of the ball. Self-inflicted penalties, failure to wrap-up tackles and the inability to convert on third down became the main storyline for the embattled Buccaneers in Battle of the Bays. In the first half, San Francisco held a yardage advantage of 290-111 and first-down edge of 19-5. Through the first two frames, penalties by Tampa Bay nullified a sack by Keanu Neal on the opening play, a 66-yard touchdown from Tom Brady to Mike Evans, an interception by Anthony Nelson and a fumble recovery by Lavonte David. As a result, the Buccaneers' offense struggled to sustain drives and San Francisco put up 28 unanswered points.
The trend continued into the second half. On the Bucs' opening drive in the third, Brady was intercepted on a deep lob to Mike Evans by Tashaun Gipson. San Francisco capitalized with a two-play, 38-yard scoring drive, culminating in a Christian McCaffrey score. After the 49ers took a 35-0 advantage, the Bucs sputtered once again. After a promising drive featuring a quick passing attack, Brady was picked off by Dre Greenlaw. Late in the third quarter, the Bucs were able to cross the goal line. Brady's pass was deflected and bounced into the hands of Russell Gage Jr. for an eight-yard touchdown, however, the team's struggles early on sealed their fate. Late in the fourth, a Rachaad White fumble brought the team's total to three turnovers on the day in Santa Clara. In his California homecoming, Brady completed 34 of 55 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown. It is now back to the drawing board for the Buccaneers.