Nick Mullens made a splashy NFL debut under the national-television spotlight Thursday night, throwing three touchdown passes and directing the host San Francisco 49ers to a 34-3 demolition of the rival Oakland Raiders.
In a game that featured two of the NFL’s three remaining one-win teams, the 49ers (2-7) ended a six-game losing streak in the San Francisco Bay Area clubs’ final scheduled meeting before the Raiders (1-7) move to Las Vegas.
Mullens, who began the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, connected with Pierre Garcon from 24 yards out in the first quarter, Kendrick Bourne from 4 yards in the second quarter and George Kittle from 5 yards in the third quarter en route to a 16-for-22, 262-yard performance.
Mullens got the start after C.J. Beathard was declared unable to go due to thumb and wrist injuries after Thursday’s pregame warmup. The 49ers lost star quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a season-ending knee injury earlier in the year.
The Raiders, who lost their fourth straight and remained winless on the road (0-4), drove 56 yards in 10 plays on their first possession of the game, but a sack and a holding penalty after the visitors had reached the San Francisco 13 forced a 37-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson for a 3-0 lead.
The 49ers dominated from there, going up 7-3 less than three minutes later after Mullens went 3-for-3 on a 75-yard drive, completing his first NFL pass to Marquise Goodwin for 11 yards and his first TD pass to Garcon at the 6:47 mark of the first quarter.
Mullens’ scoring pass to Bourne and a 39-yard field goal by Robbie Gould made it 17-3 at halftime, before the 49ers blew the game open in the third quarter, scoring on Kittle’s TD catch and a 52-yard run by Raheem Mostert.
Gould’s second field goal, a 25-yarder with 3:59 remaining, capped the scoring.
Kittle led all receivers with four catches for 108 yards, while Mostert was the game’s top rusher with 86 yards on seven carries.
The San Francisco defense, meanwhile, harassed Oakland’s Derek Carr into seven sacks on a 16-for-21 night. After throwing for three touchdowns in the Raiders’ loss to Indianapolis on Sunday, Carr had no TD passes and just 171 passing yards.
Carr was pulled early in the fourth quarter with the game out of hand, with A.J. McCarron mopping up.
The 49ers outgained the Raiders 405-242 in a game that had no turnovers.
—Field Level Media