Nick Mullens’ first nine NFL starts went about as well as the 49ers could ask for, as the former undrafted quarterback’s passing yardage through nine starts ranked only behind Patrick Mahomes and Andrew Luck for the most in league history.
But his 10th NFL start didn’t go quite the same, as Mullens turned the ball over three times and the 49ers lost to the previously winless Philadelphia Eagles 25-20 at Levi’s Stadium. According to Pro Football Focus, Mullens’ grade ranked as the worst by a starting QB so far this season.
A potential QB controversy was brewing between Mullens and Jimmy Garoppolo throughout the week as the Southern Miss product relentlessly was praised for two strong performances against bottom-dwelling teams from the Big Apple with Garoppolo sidelined, but that chatter likely has concluded as Mullens was benched in favor of third-stringer C.J. Beathard late in Sunday night’s game.
Whenever Garoppolo can return after going down with an ankle sprain in Week 2, he will be the guy for the 49ers. Mullens shouldn’t be cast aside based on one rough performance, especially with how poor the offensive line played overall, but there no longer should be any questions about who QB1 is in Santa Clara.