3 bold predictions for SF 49ers in Week 3 vs. NY Giants

Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Nick Mullens, SF 49ers, Lorenzo Carter, NY Giants
Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers under pressure from Lorenzo Carter #59 of the New York Giants (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

No. 1: SF 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens boasts a 100-plus passer rating

Even with Kyle Shanahan largely focusing on Jerick McKinnon and the ground attack, there will be a high level of pressure on Nick Mullens for this contest.

And it won’t be easy. Short wide receiver Deebo Samuel (foot), and with tight end George Kittle (knee) still questionable, Mullens will have a makeshift cast of offensive weapons in support. Granted, this group is overall better than what he saw during his eight-game starting stretch late in 2018.

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But considering the Giants are allowing only 5.7 yards through the air this season, seventh best in the league, Mullens’ ability to move the ball through the air could prove to be challenging.

On top of that, Mullens hasn’t exactly proven himself on the road over his brief career, owning an 81.0 passer rating away from home compared to a 95.8 rating at Levi’s Stadium. And when he came into relieve Jimmy Garoppolo for the second half of Week 2, Mullens managed zero touchdowns and an interception en route to a 51.7 passer rating.

For this bold scenario to take place, let’s assume Mullens bucks that trend.

Granted, a lot of his throwing attempts are likely to be short- and intermediate-area passes, which will be the norm both for Mullens’ arm strength and Shanahan’s game plan anyway.

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And if those high-percentage tosses wind up panning out, Mullens could easily find himself boasting a passer rating above 100 when the clock strikes zero this Sunday.