The 49ers trailed for most of Sunday’s game in Las Vegas, but they were able to come back and beat the Raiders 37-34 for their ninth consecutive win.
Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy was tested with his first halftime deficit in the month since taking over for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo Dec. 4 against the Dolphins. He threw an interception late in the third quarter while the 49ers were trailing the Raiders 21-24, but overcame that mistake to help the Niners produce two more scoring drives. He finished the day 22-of-35 passing for 284 yards and two touchdowns, plus one interception.
Christian McCaffrey led San Francisco in rushing (19 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown) and contributed as the second-leading receiver (six catches for 72 yards). Brandon Aiyuk topped 100 yards on nine catches, Jordan Mason added a 14-yard rushing touchdown while Aiyuk and George Kittle each hauled in one of Purdy’s first-half touchdown passes.
And while Nick Bosa didn’t register a sack or even a tackle, his pressure on first-time starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham in overtime forced a floating throw that Tashaun Gipson Sr. intercepted and returned to set up Robbie Gould’s game-winning kick.
Here’s what coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers’ players said after the win:
On whether his team had a letdown vs. first-time starter:
I think we talked about it all week. I didn’t sense any letdown … Stidham can throw. He’s got a big arm, can make all those throws. I thought we let him get a little too comfortable there and the end of the first half especially, (we) didn’t hit him very much and let him move the chains with his legs. That kind of got them in a pretty good rhythm.
What Brock’s doing is real. I mean, he’s a talented guy who’s very tough and when he does make mistakes, he understands why and then he tries to learn from them.
On the fans:
Yes but the Raiders fans were loud too. It definitely looked like a home game — there’s a lot more red so I was expecting it to be pretty loud for us.
Our first goal is to get in the playoffs — we call it the tournament — and once you get there, you always have a chance for the ultimate goal and everything about once you o get there is positioning yourself the best way you can … Our playoffs started a long time ago the way we look at it and we’re going to keep going.
On the game and his mindset:
Just try to stay as poised as possible. Those games are so fun. That’s kind of the games you dream about as a kid, the ones where it’s so back and forth and you have to fight and claw your way back. It was good for us to have that game.
Not only was he poised but he took the throne, too, and made a couple calls in the huddle and just was very definitive in the way he ran things and everything was really smooth.
On why it’s important to play a close game:
You never know when you’re going to be in one of those games again. Obviously you want to blow every team out but that’s not realistic in this league and you need to be battle-tested.
He went full beast mode on that last drive. That’s who he is, he’s a beast.
On the offense:
We feel we can play with anybody, any defense. It’s just about minimizing mistakes and being extremely efficient … I felt like we were moving the ball well. I think the whole line did an unbelievable job all day in the run game, in the pass game.
On faith in defense:
We knew that if we just keep putting points on the board, eventually our defense is going to get a stop … Bosa made a great rush at the end, Gip came up with pick, put us in field goal range and Robbie made the game winner.
On the fluttering catch:
When I saw the ball up in the air, luckily he tackled me because I think we had one timeout, but luckily he tackled me and we were able to take the timeout because I’m not sure what would happen if that wasn’t the case.
On building up:
We know the ultimate goal. We’re just trying to get better every week and that starts with the while receivers and tight ends, anybody catching the ball.
He did a great job. Super calm dude and the moment’s never too big for him. We’re not just going out there and trying to put a plan together to where everybody picks up and we kind of hide what he’s got going on or he’s not ready. He’s out there leading two-minute drives, signaling out wide, changing play calls while we’re going to two minute (offense). Today just really showed us that I think this dude is on a different level.
On the rivalry:
This is my first time playing the Raiders in a regular-season game and a Jan. 1 game, so it’s obviously a huge game but just throughout the week, talking to people, I got people hitting me up like ‘Man, you don’t even’ — like telling me I don’t know how serious this rivalry is. And I’m like ‘I mean, I think it’s pretty important to me too’. But just saying that and hearing that, it kind of made me realize ‘OK, this might be a little deeper than I thought.’
On the offense’s talent:
I feel bad for anybody who got to gameplan against us.
On playing a close game:
We have a rookie quarterback who’s playing at an incredibly high level but we’ve been playing from ahead a lot of it … I feel like we should have won the game earlier but you know we made mistakes and had some penalties and areas we shouldn’t have done but I think it’s a great win for the Niners.
For Brock to get those reps with a ton of pressure on your shoulders and just go right through it, that’s what you want to see from him.
On whether he expected the ball to come to him on his touchdown catch:
Goodness gracious, no. Not at all.
We ran that play a couple times on Friday for our red zone stuff. I wasn’t even close. I mean, they’re like ‘Hey, you’re going to distract two guys and Aiyuk’s going to be wide open right behind you’ and I was like ‘OK’. And then the look came out and it was not the look that we went against. Kudos to Brock for just keeping his eyes up and finding me in the back of the end zone.
On playing a tight game:
I love winning by 30 points, but check your pulse, man.
On the defense:
When it comes down to it, I’ll pick our defense against any offense.
On the defense:
Obviously a ton to correct defensively, but for the offense to take control and win it for us was ginormous. We needed that. I’m proud of them.
On the forced interception:
I just kind of changed up the pace of my rush and got into his chest and just kept pushing. I think his hand hit the helmet of the guy. I haven’t seen it yet, but ah, man, I was happy to see the ball fluttering in the air.
We gave him way too many open lanes in the pass rush. We need to clean that up for sure. But he was poised, he took hits. Hit him a good amount of times, we all did, and he completed the ball on most of them.
On the lanes left to Stidham:
The lanes we gave him anybody could have ran through. Tom Brady could have ran through those.
On the close game and defensive struggles:
Obviously it’s a great learning lesson for us. Not ideal — you don’t want to have to learn that lesson, right? But yeah, a lot to take away from.
On the Raiders:
Kudos to them. They had a heck of a game plan. They came out to execute at a high level and played a heck of a game. They already had a lot of playmakers — we weren’t slouching on them at all.
On the offense picking up the defense:
We’re a complete team. That’s what you need to win big-time games. As much as I hate to say that we needed this — I want us to dominate in all facets of the game every single time we step out there — but adversity makes you stronger and we’re as tough as they come.
On whether they took the Raiders too lightly:
I didn’t feel prior to the game that guys weren’t up for it, guys weren’t ready to go. It’s just a matter of technique and playing well, doing our job.
He’s been exactly what we needed at that position and has stepped up big-time.
On playing a close game:
I don’t think anybody wants to make games close or anything. You always want to put up points and win in a comfortable way but for us to go through that scenario and for our offense and even for myself, game’s 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 our team where we’re at in terms of what our goal is.
On intense atmosphere:
We’ve all talked about it, you know, moving forward with one game left in the regular season and playoffs starting up but to come in an environment like this, you feel it at the end of the game, crowd’s going crazy and you have to go out and perform and do your job.
BA did a great job at winning his man-to-man matchups. He doesn’t a great job of creating space and I trust him in terms of where he’s going to be. So at the end of the game for me — in order to do his thing, all I had to do was put the ball on him and let him get YAC.
On the fluttering pass:
I was just thankful BA came down with it. I was like ‘Man, come on BA’. I was actually trying to get the ball to George and then I think it was the d-end, he had a great play and the got the ball a little bit and went up. I just gotta be smarter in that kind of situation in terms of, if he’s close, just take a loss or throw it away rather than ty to go deep to George.
On leaning on Garoppolo’s knowledge:
Jimmy’s played a lot of big games and stuff, obviously. I talked to him about the Super Bowl and everything a while back, and just all those games leading up to it.
On staying even-keeled:
I’m pretty hard on myself mentally. The pick to George or a misread. I always tell myself mentally, ‘You gotta be better’ or ‘you can be better, you’ve shown that you can.’ But I don’t like to show it to my teammates or anyone like that. I just got to ride the highs, ride the lows and staying the middle and keep things simple like that. The minute I start to go down or anything like that and start getting flustered, obviously guys will feel that, feed of that. Just gotta play my part, do my job and keep things nice and calm and cool, collected, even if it’s someone else that messes up too.
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