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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


Listen Up: 49ers’ Nick Mullens Will Shine in Prime Time

Gilbert Brink
Dec 4, 2020 at 7:12 AM


Call me crazy, but I have a strange feeling 49ers QB Nick Mullens is about to do something very special. First off, Nick Mullens has not been a very good QB this season. The 49ers once thought they had a golden insurance policy on their bench due to Mullens' encouraging 2018 performance. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is still wondering what happened to that Mullens. 49ers fans loved that guy.

In 2018, Mullens led a significantly less-talented 49ers team to a 3-5 record while throwing for 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Sure, back then he had George Kittle to throw to, but he also made now jettisoned WR Dante Pettis look like a future WR1 during a 4-game stretch late in that season (15 receptions, 338 yards, 3 TDs). Heading into this season, the 49ers loved what they had in Nick Mullens, so much so that they reportedly turned down numerous trade offers for the QBS that were sent their way. Currently, that seems to have been a big mistake. His trade value has evaporated and he is a free agent in the offseason. The 49ers most likely will lose Nick Mullens after this season, but he still has a few weeks left to prove Shanahan and Lynch right for placing their faith in him.

This is Nick Mullens' marquee moment. Much like the rest of the world, the 49ers have had a swirling disaster of a year. There is no need to tell this story again. If you are reading this, you know how bad this season has been for the 49ers. Amazingly, they still find themselves in a position to vie for a playoff spot. What once looked like a lost season has now been revived from the dead due to an upset win over the LA Rams this past Sunday. That game may be the key to the resurgence of the 49ers. Leading 17-3 late in the 3rd quarter, the 49ers looked poised to wrap up this sweep in comfortable fashion. A series of unfortunate events quickly wiped away that lead and put the 49ers in the familiar position of being down late in the 4th quarter. If the 49ers somehow rally their way to a playoff appearance, remember that the final 5 minutes of the Week 12 victory over the Rams was the genesis of that campaign.

Trailing 17-20, the 49ers offense was mired in the quite pedestrian performance in which it had been stuck for the majority of the game. Only 10 of those points could be attributed to the offense, as rookie DT Javon Kinlaw's pick-6 accounted the other 7 points. To win this game, Mullens was going to have move the ball through the air against the #2 defense in the NFL. The often-mundane Mullens transformed in the 4th quarter, leading 2 scoring drives that would win the game for the 49ers and provide a spark for the defending NFC champions' playoff hopes.

Momentum and confidence play a major role in any sport. Nick Mullens' previous 2 starts consisted of blowout losses to the Packers and Saints. All hope for him and the 49ers seemed to be lost. That has changed. Mullens enters Week 13 with the confidence of a QB who just lead 2 critical 4th quarter drives to beat a division rival, on the road, that fields the 2nd-best defense in the NFL. He will be taking that confidence into a matchup against the Buffalo Bills and their formidable defense, which ranks 18th in the league. Not only does the competition become a little softer, his arsenal will be much stronger heading into Monday Night Football. WR Deebo Samuel's Week 12 performance helped save the season, and now the 49ers will finally have rookie standout WR Brandon Aiyuk on the field with Samuel at the same time. For the first time, the 49ers have their full WR corps healthy and ready to make an impact. Samuel and Aiyuk will be Mullens' best friends with the big lights on them in front of a national audience on ESPN.

Some may cite the move to Arizona as a hinderance to the 49ers' playoff push. This team has thrived under adversity, and I believe these strange circumstances will actually motivate the 49ers. The quirky truth here can't go ignored: the 49ers are 1-4 at home this season and 4-2 on the road. Apparently, they have a clear home field disadvantage. Taking this show on the road for the rest of the year might actually be the best thing for them. 49ers fans will recall that Nick Mullens' first start came in front of a national audience on prime time TV. In that game, Mullens was 16 for 22, with 262 yards and 3 TDs for a 151.9 QB rating. Call me crazy, but this 49ers QB is about to do something special. I'm telling you now: get ready for Monday Night Mullens.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


1 Comment

  • Greg
    Thats the dumbest article i have ever read. Mullens is garbage, plain and simple. Re-read that artilcle on Tuesday morning to remind yourself of how dumb you are.
    Dec 4, 2020 at 8:20 AM
    1
    Response: Thanks for reading

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