Vegas oddsmakers clearly haven’t been watching the Raiders enough this season. Or they need to listen to Paul Guenther. The odds were favoring the 49ers by three points coming in. Then Nick Mullens was named the starter and the line changed to the Raiders being favored by one point.
Then the game started.
With six minutes left in the second quarter, the 49ers punted for the first time. Nick Mullens had led the 49ers to touchdowns on his first two drives. Not his first two drives of the game. His first two drives of his NFL CAREER. He has never played a snap in the NFL. Then he lined up across from the Raiders porous, toothless defense and looked downright elite.
Mullens went 12 for 17 for 167 yards and 2 TD’s and the 49ers carried a 17-3 lead into the half. Derek Carr? Sacked four times. This is at the half, mind you.
Come the second half, it was more of the same. The 49ers got the ball first and drove right down the field for the touchdown. It was highlighted by an insande one-handed grab by tight end George Kittle on a crossing route that went for 71 yards. Then Mullens rolled out left and found Kittle again for the score to take a 24-3 lead.
When the Raiders got the ball back, Kolton Miller was out for the rest of the game and replaced by Kelechi Osemele who moved over from left guard. And he promptly gave up the fifth sack on Carr in the game.
Midway through the third quarter, Mullens was 15 of 20 for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns with a 156.2 passer rating, tight end George Kittle was already over 100 yards (108), and the 49ers were up 31-3.
The game was over. There was just some time still left.
From here it was just about playing out the clock. Even though the defense was playing out the clock since the first snap of the game. Whatever efforts they had early on were long since gone as their spirits were broken.
Even the Raiders’ field goal attempt to begin the fourth quarter bounced off the right upright. And after the sixth sack on Carr and with 11:45 left in the game, AJ McCarron came in the game at quarterback. Like a preseason game.
It was reminiscent of 2013 when Nick Foles came into Oakland and got his third career win throwing 7 touchdowns.
The Battle of the Bay is no more. The Raiders lose the final game in the series in embarrassing fashion as the team that will remain in the Bay Area claimed their territorial rights.
The Raiders lost the battle, but may have won the war. The war has been looking ahead to next year’s draft for a while now. Where pass rusher Nick Bosa awaits. This effort helps them in that endeavor.