San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens delivered a debut for the ages against the Oakland Raiders. The former undrafted free agent went 16 of 22 for 262 yards and three touchdowns to lead the 49ers to a dominant 34-3 win on Thursday Night Football.
Mullens finished with a terrific 151.9 passer rating, which is the best by a quarterback making his first ever start since the NFL merger in 1970, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.
Moreover, Mullens also joined Hall of Fame quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton and Jim Kelly as the only quarterbacks to throw for 250-plus yards, three-plus touchdowns and no interceptions in an NFL debut since 1950.
He also became the first player in 49ers history to throw three touchdowns in his very first game, according to Elias Sport Bureau.
It’s truly remarkable to realize how well Mullens played on prime-time considering he didn’t know until hours before the game that he would make the start over C.J. Beathard, who was unable to go due to a wrist injury. It speaks highly to his mentality that he was more than ready to play at a high level when called upon.
Of course, it also speaks poorly of the Raiders, who continued to look completely hapless under Jon Gruden. The fact that they were absolutely smoked by a quarterback not many people had even heard of is yet another black eye to the Silver and Black’s disastrous season.
But still, it shouldn’t take away from the historically great performance Mullens was able to produce during his unforgettable NFL debut.