The San Francisco 49ers announced earlier this week that Nick Mullens would be the starting quarterback against the New York Giants in Week 10. Head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted that it was not a difficult decision in light of his performance against the Oakland Raiders.
“I think everyone saw the way he played. I don’t think it was too tough a decision. Our team played really well, and he played well. It was gonna be hard not to give him that opportunity.”
The New York Giants will have the benefit of a game’s worth of film on Mullens this week, but Mullens gets the benefit of extra prep time. The 49ers did not announce their QB decision until Tuesday, but it’s safe to say he had an inkling he might get another start. The team had four days off after last Thursday’s game, but given the stories we’ve heard, Mullens was likely plenty busy preparing for the Giants.
Shanahan did say the quarterback decision would be a week-to-week one at this point. Mullens could firmly grab hold of the job, but with no regular season experience prior to last week’s start against the Raiders, it would be foolish to say he’s the guy and there’s no going back.
I exchanged questions with Big Blue View editor Ed Valentine, and one of his questions was about Mullens. He asked if Mullens was a nice one-game story, or if he could be a viable starting quarterback. You can give my full answer a look at the above, including my thoughts on what the Giants might look to do against him. Here’s my tl;dr version:
I doubt he is the next coming of Tom Brady because we all know how rare a talent Brady was. Odds are good he will have some decent games this year and eventually regress to backup form at best. I’m hoping the 49ers have found a diamond in the rough, but I’m keeping my expectations low.
Mullens gets a pair of juicy matchups against bad defenses this week against the Giants and after the bye when they travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The degree of difficulty changes considerably after that when the 49ers travel to Seattle and then host Denver. I’m fascinated to see where the Mullens experiment stands heading into Week 13 at Seattle.