What we learned as Purdy, 49ers’ defense struggle in loss to Bengals originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
SANTA CLARA — The 49ers head into the bye week with a disappointing three-game losing streak.
Despite their impressive win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5, the 49ers have struggled in their recent games against the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, and the Cincinnati Bengals, who handed them a 31-17 loss in their latest matchup at Levi’s Stadium.
This defeat was particularly disheartening as it occurred at home, where the 49ers had an 11-game winning streak. Moreover, it was witnessed by over 120 49ers alumni who were gathered to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl victories. Here are the key takeaways from the 49ers’ loss:
Purdy’s mixed performance
Brock Purdy initially played well, but things quickly went downhill.
During the second half, Purdy threw interceptions on consecutive offensive plays, both of which had a significant impact. The first interception was a result of a great defensive play by Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt, who deflected a pass intended for Elijah Mitchell. This interception prevented the 49ers from scoring points. Purdy’s second interception resulted in a Cincinnati touchdown, turning the game in their favor.
Although Purdy faced some challenges, he had moments of brilliance. He had a career-best rushing performance, gaining 57 yards on six scrambling attempts. Additionally, he completed 22 of 31 passes for a career-high 365 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Continuing defensive struggles
The 49ers’ defense had a tough time throughout most of the game, much like in their previous matchup against the Vikings.
The defense struggled to pressure Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, allowing him to pick them apart. Furthermore, their run defense was weak, with the Bengals averaging 7.2 yards per rushing attempt in the first half.
Despite some defensive plays, the 49ers couldn’t overcome their coverage issues. Burrow had an exceptional game, completing 28 of 32 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Bengals to victory.
McCaffrey’s touchdown streak continues
Amidst the disappointing loss, there was a bright spot for the 49ers.
Running back Christian McCaffrey maintained his consistent performance by scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. This marked his 17th consecutive game with a touchdown, tying the all-time NFL record held by Lenny Moore. McCaffrey also added another touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
Overall, McCaffrey had 12 carries for 54 yards, six receptions for 64 yards, and the two touchdowns.
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