The San Francisco 49ers defied the odds on Thursday night, dominating the Oakland Raiders to the tune of 34-3 in the final Battle of the Bay at Levi’s Stadium. The debut of quarterback Nick Mullens stole the show on what was easily the 49ers’ most well-rounded performance of the year under Kyle Shanahan, albeit against a reeling Raiders team led by veteran head coach Jon Gruden.
Here’s our stock report after the 49ers’ dominant victory on Thursday night:
Stock way up: QB Nick Mullens
What was once thought as a preseason apparition, “Mullens Magic” took center stage Thursday night against the Raiders. The 49ers’ new starter, who was the practice squad in September, completed 16 of 22 passes (72%) for 262 yards, three touchdowns, no turnovers and a quarterback rating of 151.9. It is one of the greatest debut performances ever by an NFL quarterback. Shanahan was non-committal about Mullen’s chances to start in Week 10, but don’t be surprised if we get a prime time encore against the Giants on Monday Night Football.
Stock down: RB Raheem Mostert
Even in their nearly flawless victory over the Raiders, the 49ers still couldn’t escape the injury bug that’s plagued them in 2018. Running back Raheem Mostert’s stock was trending up after racking up seven carries for 86 yards and an impressive 52-yard touchdown against the Raiders. It was clear he was earning a more prominent role ahead of Alfred Morris as the 49ers’ No. 2 option behind Matt Breida. Those hopes were quickly dashed when Mostert suffered a gruesome broken forearm in the third quarter. The special teams standout is out for the rest of the season.
Stock up: TE George Kittle
At some point we’ll have to stop including Kittle’s rising stock for the sake of it being expected on a week-to-week basis. The 49ers’ star tight end reeled in four receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown in another reminder that he’s quickly emerged as one of the NFL’s elite. His highlight play of night came on a tight-window throw from Mullens into triple coverage over the middle of the field. Kittle reached out, snagged the ball with one hand and broke through the defense for a 71-yard gain. He went on to score two plays later.
Stock down: Draft position
A vocal portion of the 49ers’ fanbase prior to Thursday’s matchup had resigned their hopes to landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Unfortunately for them, the 49ers’ chances took a significant hit on Thursday when the now 2-7 49ers beat the 1-7 Raiders, placing Oakland one spot ahead of San Francisco at pick No. 2 behind the 1-7 New York Giants. The 49ers’ roster would benefit from the premier talent offered by selecting first-overall (see: Bosa, Nick,) but there are far too many positives to be taken from their impressive win on Thursday to be concerned about draft position in Week 10.
Stock up: Coach Kyle Shanahan
There was a stark difference between the two one-win teams on the field at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday. Shanahan’s 49ers, despite losing six straight, were full of energy and executed to near perfection on both sides of the ball for all four quarters. The same can’t be said Gruden’s Raiders, who essentially gave up on the veteran head coach as the game wore on. The team in it’s current state has a long way to go before competing with most of the NFL, but the 49ers’ coach deserves credit for keeping a young 49ers roster focused on the task at hand.
Stock up: Pass rush
The 49ers’ convincing victory has given us cause to replace the spot normally reserved for the final stock hit with another surprising positive - the defense’s effective pass rush. The 49ers sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr eight times Thursday. They also added nine quarterback hits and seven tackles for loss. Cassius Marsh, Dekoda Watson, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas all got to the quarterback in the 49ers’ most successful defensive outing so far this season.