The San Francisco 49ers gave the Oakland Raiders a good old-fashioned drubbing in what will be the final Bay Area matchup before the Raiders head off for the supposed brighter lights of Las Vegas. Hopes were not high for this game and it was dubbed the worst post-October prime-time meeting ever with the teams having a combined winning percentage of 0.133, however it will be remembered for the stunning debut performance of 3rd string QB Nick Mullens.
Mullens who was an undrafted free agent out of Southern Miss last year began the season as the third choice behind Jimmy Garoppolo and CJ Beathard, but injuries to both gave him his chance and boy did he take it!.
In guiding the 49ers to a convincing 34-3 he finished with a passer rating of 151.9, including completing 16-of-22 passes for 262 yards, scoring three touchdowns and throwing no interceptions. He was perfect on his opening drive which resulted in a TD and the only blemish was a fumble which they recovered.
Oakland actually took a 3 point lead on their opening drive but never got anything going on either side of the ball thereafter and can have no complaints at the scoreline. Their starting QB Derek Carr was sacked 4 times in the first half and seven times overall, and the speculation over his future will intensify as he was pulled from the game early in the 4th quarter even though he was playing pretty well, despite spending so much time on the turf. His replacement AJ McCarron faired no better completing a solitary pass from three attempts and was also sacked.
Coach Jon Gruden has made no secret of his intention to pull down and rebuild the Raiders in his own image and on this performance they will be picking first in next years draft. The chances are high that he will be looking for Derek Carr’s replacement with that pick too as he looks to be next on the trade block.
As for the 49ers, well their season is still over but they now have to decide if Nick Mullens keeps his place or whether they revert back to CJ Beathard who has the far from stellar record of having lost nine out of 10 career starts.
The half-time entertainment included presenting former 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens with his Hall of Fame ring. He played for them from 1996-2003 and controversially bypassed the official ceremony in Canton stating he thought that his off-field antics had delayed his induction; which is somewhat reinforced by the decision. Still, he is one of the greats scoring 153 touchdowns and racking up 15,594 receiving yards in his 15 seasons.