Well, that was unexpected. Nick Mullens climbed out of the 49er depth chart cellar and threw down the greatest game in NFL history by a QB newbie.
It’s unclear whether this was the birth of a legend or mostly the death rattle of the Raiders, but it was damned impressive anyway. The first true rout of the Kyle Shanahan regime.
The defense got in on the act by registering 7 sacks. Since the Niners have one of the worst pass rushes in the league, this stat helps bolster the death rattle theory. The Raiders were simply awful at everything. One bad team was still playing hard and the other bad team has thrown in the towel.
The victory elevated the team from the NFL gutter, which they shared with the Raiders and Giants. Last week they proved to be worse than the Cardinals, and the next time they play we’ll see if they are better or worse than the Giants. At best, they’ll be the third worst team in the league. At worst, they’ll be better than only the Raiders. High drama.
The immediate question is whether Mullens is better than CJ Beathard. One would suppose Mullens will start against the Giants. How could he not after a game like this. Shanahan is a stubborn fellow, though. He’s insisted that Beathard is the better player, and Thursday night he seemed to be proven wrong. Geniuses can get a little testy when their brilliance is dented. Just ask Spitblood, who reacted to being outed by huffing off the blogosphere and is now working at McDonalds, handing out hamburgers and bad advice.
This might be the high point of the season for the 49ers, and they’ll have nearly two weeks to savor it before the Monday night game against the Giants. At the very least, if the team has to be better than somebody, at least that somebody was the Raiders.