There will be no more talk of a QB controversy in San Francisco.
Third-year quarterback Nick Mullens turned in an ugly, two-interception performance against the Philadelphia Eagles that ultimately landed him on the bench and cost the 49ers the game.
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STORY OF THE GAME
A week removed from his 343-yard, one-touchdown outing against the New York Giants in Week 3, Mullens completed 18-of-26 passes for 200 yards and two interceptions, including a pick-six to Eagles’ Alex Singleton. He also took four sacks and lost a fumble in the contest.
C.J. Beathard replaced Mullens following his second interception in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. The former Iowa signal-caller led the 49ers down the field for a touchdown with 2:02 left in the game, but he couldn’t complete the comeback with an 88-yard scoring drive when San Francisco got the ball back with 1:40 on the clock. Beathard finished the game with 14 completions from 19 attempts for 138 yards.
Opposite of Mullens and Beathard, Eagles’ Carson Wentz made enough plays to secure the win, but it was not an overly impressive performance from the veteran North Dakota State product. He completed just 18-of-28 passes for 193 yards, one touchdown and one interception on the day.
Injuries along the offensive line and at the wide receiver position have cost the Eagles through all four of their games, but Wentz is still the root cause of their issues offensively. He struggled to push the ball downfield with accuracy outside of his touchdown strike to Travis Fulgham and took three sacks on the night.
Tight end George Kittle was the MVP of the contest. He survived subpar play under center to finish the game with 15 receptions for 183 yards and one touchdown after missing the past two weeks due to injury.
We once again got to see Jalen Hurts under center for the Eagles … for another three snaps as a gadget player. He was given two designed rushing attempts in his first taste of NFL action, tallying up 14 rushing yards and, unfortunately, one fumble. Hurts did drop back to pass on his other snap at QB, though that too turned into a rushing attempt when he broke the pocket on a scramble for a 4-yard gain.
Rookie receiver John Hightower had to step up once again for this depleted receiving corps and played 32 snaps on the night. He performed well enough on his limited opportunity, too, catching both of his targets for 22 yards and two first downs.
The Niners may have ended their Week 5 contest with a loss, but they can take some form of comfort in Javon Kinlaw‘s continued development along the defensive line as well as Brandon Aiyuk‘s emergence as yet another after-the-catch threat for this offense.
Kinlaw played 47 defensive snaps from a variety of different alignments, and he once again proved to be a nuisance at the point of attack. He came away with a handful of QB pressures to go with a couple of solo tackles and a defensive stop against the run.
On the offensive side of the ball, Aiyuk treated us to a throwback of his time at Arizona State with a staggering 38-yard catch-and-run touchdown that included one of the most impressive hurdles you will ever see in a football game. The rookie wideout saw the field for 61 snaps all told, the most of any offensive rookie in this contest. He added a further 18 yards on two catches outside of his score.
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