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Sports >  NFL

Nick Mullens has sterling debut in 49ers’ 34-3 win over Raiders

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 1, 2018

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Elijah Lee  tackles Oakland Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant  during the second half Thursday  in Santa Clara, Calif. (John Hefti / AP)
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Elijah Lee tackles Oakland Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant during the second half Thursday in Santa Clara, Calif. (John Hefti / AP)
Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Nick Mullens threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns in the most productive NFL debut since the merger, leading the San Francisco 49ers to a 34-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders in a lopsided Battle of the Bay on Thursday night.

George Kittle made an impressive one-handed catch on a 71-yard play that set up his touchdown from Mullens and Pierre Garcon caught his first TD pass in two seasons with the 49ers (2-7), who snapped a six-game losing streak and won for just the second time in two years without Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.

Mullens got the nod after C.J. Beathard injured his right wrist last week and made the most of his opportunity against a defense for the Raiders (1-7) that is one of the worst in the league.

The former undrafted free agent out of Southern Mississippi got rid of the ball quickly and took advantages of several breakdowns in coverage for big plays, including the 24-yard TD pass to a wide-open Garcon on the opening drive.

Mullens finished 16 for 22 and had a 151.9 passer rating, the highest for a quarterback with at least 15 attempts in an NFL debut since the 1970 merger. He threw TD passes to Garcon and Kendrick Bourne on the opening two drives and coasted from there to the most lopsided win in this series since San Francisco won the first meeting 38-7 in 1970.

Raheem Mostert added a 52-yard touchdown run and the Niners outgained the Raiders 405-248.

In what was perhaps the worst prime-time matchup in NFL history, only the Raiders played down to expectations. They provided little resistance on defense against an undrafted quarterback making his NFL debut, did nothing on offense after driving for as field goal on the opening drive and put together the most listless performance in coach Jon Gruden’s second stint as coach.

Oakland has lost four games in a row, getting outscored by 85 points during the skid. The Raiders are just playing out the string in a season that began with optimism because of Gruden’s return.

Carr finished 16 for 22 for 171 yards and was sacked five times before being replaced by AJ McCarron in the fourth quarter. McCarron was sacked once.

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