No. 3: Nick Mullens put out another steady performance
Nick Mullens continued to show his ability as an NFL quarterback. Mullens would finish the day with 22 completions from 38 attempted passes for a total of 241 yards and one interception. He had a completion rate of 57.9 percent and a passer rating of 65.8, his second worst performance behind Week 12’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He averaged 6.34 yards per pass with his longest pass being 35 yards.
While the intercepted pass was slightly off target, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin should have been able to reel it in. Instead, the ball would bounce off his fingertips and into the waiting arms of linebacker Danny Trevathan:
Mullens again showed great poise and awareness while in a rather small pocket for much of the game. With the Bears’ renowned defense bringing the pressure, Mullens was forced into reading the field and making his decision quickly — something that he did effectively and with confidence. He was not afraid to take a late hit if it meant getting the ball away, and at the other spectrum, threw the ball away when required.
He received one sack by rookie linebacker Roquan Smith, who also led the Bears with a total of nine tackles, including two for a loss. The Bears would also have six quarterback hits on Mullens and seven pass deflections, three of which coming from defensive end Akiem Hicks.
He displayed a great two-minute drill prior to the conclusion of the second quarter. Mullens moved the Niners 63 yards down the field passing to Goodwin, Wilson and wide receiver Trent Taylor to keep the chains moving. The 49ers were unable to convert for a touchdown in the red zone, leading to another field goal by Gould.
One of Mullens’ downfalls was the decision he made on what would be the 49ers’ last play of the game. On 4th-and-4 inside the Bears’ half, Mullens dropped back and rolled right, looking for a receiver to throw to. The field opened up in front of him with clear space and plenty of time. However, instead of rushing and making a dash for the first down, Mullens threw downfield to Goodwin, resulting in an incomplete and a turnover of downs. From there, the Bears were able to run out the clock.