WE WON A GAME!
I know that puts a wedge in everyone’s drafting hopes, but this 49ers team needed a win more than anything. After everything they have been through something, ANYTHING even an ugly win would have been fine. Instead Nick Mullens comes out and carves the Oakland Raiders like they were a pee-wee team.
I said the 49ers would win if C.J. Beathard could trust his receivers and pull the trigger. Well, we didn’t get Beathard, we got Mullens, and he had no problem pulling the trigger. To be fair, a good number of his wide receivers were wide open—not much to anticipate there. There were also plays where Mullens hit the recievers in stride, even when he may not have intended to (that stupid George Kittle take-off comes to mind).
But the Raiders are the Raiders. The 49ers won mostly because of that and less because of anything they did. The Raiders looked awful and weren’t even trying.
The 49ers would have lost if...
If they started C.J. Beathard.
All joking aside, they would have lost if they weren’t able to take advantage of the Raiders gutted defense early. Mullens coming out and throwing touchdown after touchdown put the Raiders in an awful spot. They have nothing for pass catchers with the loss of Amari Cooper and forcing Derek Carr to start throwing when that’s apparent isn’t going to help anything.
This of course goes in line with my other point, Carr isn’t a terrible quarterback. If the 49ers pass rush couldn’t take advantage of an awful offensive line, especially with a lead that may force some deeper throws, they were going to get destroyed.
The pass rush had easily its best night of the year with four sacks in the first half alone.
The 49ers won because...
They executed. The defense still had holes opened up early in the game before settling in, but the offense was on fire for most of the night. We’ve talked about George’s Kittle’s absolutely (again) stupid catch and run. There’s also that awesome touchdown from Raheem Mostert indicating the Raider were not even trying.
Nick Mullens gets credit because found wide open receivers for big gains. This in part goes to Kyle Shanahan’s play-calling (this is why those considering him on the hot seat are ridiculous). The Raiders are trash, but the 49ers are playing backups of backups and beating an NFL team, even if it’s one of the worst.
That should say something.