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George Kittle, 49ers pull away from Commanders

Dec 24, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (99) during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Purdy hooked up with George Kittle for two touchdown passes and the San Francisco 49ers stretched their winning streak to eight games with a 37-20 victory over the Washington Commanders on Saturday afternoon at Santa Clara, Calif.

NFL sack leader Nick Bosa had two more to raise his season total to 17.5 and forced a fumble for the 49ers (11-4). Receiver Ray-Ray McCloud scored on a long run, and Purdy completed 15 of 22 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for San Francisco.

Kittle caught six passes for 120 yards and has four scoring receptions over the past two games. Christian McCaffrey added a rushing touchdown for the 49ers.

Taylor Heinicke was 13-of-18 passing for 166 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for Washington (7-7-1) before being pulled in the fourth quarter. Carson Wentz entered for the first time since a Week 6 finger injury and completed 12 of 16 passes for 123 yards and one touchdown.

Jahan Dotson, Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel caught touchdown passes for the Commanders, who are winless in their last three games (0-2-1).

Washington standout Chase Young played for the first time in 13-plus months after suffering a major knee injury. He had two tackles.

San Francisco took a 14-7 lead in the third quarter as Purdy drilled a 34-yard scoring pass to Kittle with 10:38 left.

Less than six minutes later, Purdy tossed a 33-yard pass to Kittle to make it a 14-point margin with 4:52 remaining.

Washington pulled within 21-14 on Heinicke’s 3-yard scoring pass to McLaurin 2:06 later, but Robbie Gould kicked a 26-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to push San Francisco ahead by 10.

The Commanders made a big miscue as Bosa delivered a strip-sack of Heinicke and Jordan Willis recovered at the Washington 11 with 14:04 left. That set up a 23-yarder by Gould to make it 27-14 with 12:02 remaining.

Two plays later, Jimmie Ward intercepted Heinicke — the quarterback’s last play before being pulled — at the Washington 25. Gould again was called on and booted a 35-yarder with 9:16 left.

Wentz tossed a 20-yard scoring pass to Samuel to make it a 10-point deficit with 5:25 remaining but the two-point conversion failed. McCaffrey scored from the 1 with 2:13 left to seal it for the 49ers.

Earlier, McCloud took a handoff and raced 71 yards for a touchdown for the game’s first points with 6:26 left in the half. Washington tied the game when Heinicke tossed a 4-yard scoring pass to Dotson with 22 seconds left before intermission.

–Field Level Media

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