Despite Rough Game, Mullens Will Start Again

Shanahan says quarterback deserves another opportunity to start this Sunday against the Seahawks

A day after Nick Mullens had the worst game of his three-game tenure as 49ers starting quarterback, Kyle Shanahan said he’ll get another start this Sunday vs. the Seahawks.

Since winning his first start against the Raiders on Nov. 1, Mullens and the Niners have lost two straight games. But Shanahan is backing Mullens over C.J. Beathard, for now.

“I know that I said Nick didn’t play very well, but no one played well and I didn’t coach well,” said Shanahan. “It was all of us. Nick did a good job in his first two games. It was not the reason that happened yesterday, so that’s not fair to do that to him.”

In the 49ers’ loss to Tampa Bay this past Sunday, Mullens was just 18-of-32 passing for 221 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown. Shanahan isn’t discounting that he may eventually turn to Beathard if Mullens continues to falter, but for now, Mullens is the starter.

“We’re playing this year out with (Mullens and Beathard) and we’ll see how games go,” Shanahan told reporters Monday. “We’re going to do everything we can to win a game. I know we’re preparing with Nick and if he ever struggled, I’d bring in C.J. We’ll see how it goes.”

One of Mullens’ problems vs. the Bucs was he was under constant pressure. According to Nick Wagoner of, Mullens took more sacks and hits in just the first half (nine) than he completed passes (four), and he was sacked a total of four times and hit nine times in the game. Mullens was also without his top two wide receivers, Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin.

Mullens certainly didn’t put the blame on anyone else for his bad game.

“I think it was a combination of a lot of things,” said Mullens. “Sometimes it’s just the way it goes. I think we have to work better collectively as a unit and that works with me and we just have to watch the tape and go back to work. It’s frustrating. We thought we had a chance, we definitely had our chances and we didn’t take advantage of them and a lot of that starts with me.”

The 2-9 49ers will travel to Seattle to take on the 6-5 Seahawks Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m.

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