SF 49ers grades: Nick Mullens stinks it up vs. Washington in Week 14

Quarterback Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by defensive end Montez Sweat #90 of the Washington Football Team (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Quarterback Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by defensive end Montez Sweat #90 of the Washington Football Team (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Kamren Curl, Nick Mullens, SF 49ers, Washington Football Team
Strong safety Kamren Curl #31 of the Washington Football Team on an interception by quarterback Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

SF 49ers Offensive Grades vs. Washington

Looking at the basic stat sheet, one would figure San Francisco did a good enough job against a good Football Team defense that entered Week 14 with the fourth-fewest total yards allowed in the league. The SF 49ers put up 344 yards of offense against Washington’s 193, while Kyle Shanahan’s offense possessed the ball for roughly four more minutes.

The Niners were a perfect 2-of-2 in the red zone and were one tick better than Washington on third down: 4-of-15 compared to 3-of-15.

So, what went wrong?


Perhaps the only thing keeping Nick Mullens from receiving an F-grade was the fact he had some volume stats that inflated his overall numbers.

Going 25-of-45 for 260 yards wasn’t the plan, though, as Mullens shouldn’t have been in a position where he needed to pass a ton. But a pick-six interception tossed to Washington safety Kamren Curl and a strip-sack fumble that Chase Young returned for a touchdown sure put Mullens and San Francisco’s offense in a bind.

Mullens did record a 6-yard touchdown to fullback Kyle Juszczyk. But the quarterback also missed open receivers, failed to feel the pressure within the pocket and took a whopping 12 quarterback hits.

Problems continue to abound for Mullens, who probably should have been benched at halftime in favor of the No. 3 option under center, C.J. Beathard.


Running back Raheem Mostert is arguably one of two offensive players who consistently are able to make plays, and he ended up the SF 49ers’ leading rusher with 65 yards on 14 carries.

Shanahan told reporters after the game both Mostert and Jeff Wilson are the top-two running backs, and Wilson had his positive moments during the game, including the Niners’ opening touchdown.

But a Wilson fumble pretty much negated whatever other positives he had during the contest.

It’s a wonder why Juszczyk isn’t more involved in the playmaking-side of the offense, as he is one of the more unique weapons at San Francisco’s disposal.


Take away the rookie wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, this would be a clear-cut F-grade, too.

Aiyuk was a stud, recording 10 catches for 119 yards and putting himself in position to be the SF 49ers’ first 1,000-yard wideout since Anquan Boldin back in 2014.

As for the rest? Well, it wasn’t pretty.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a hamstring injury on the opening snap from scrimmage after going for a 9-yard jet sweep. Samuel missed three games this season already with the same injury, and there’s a good chance he won’t return this year after this latest setback.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne dropped at least three passes, and tight end Ross Dwelley isn’t a good blocker.

Rough outing from San Francisco’s pass-catchers.


Another scary injury happened with left tackle Trent Williams going out for a drive, putting in backup lineman Justin Skule, who literally decided not to block Chase Young:

While Mullens struggled, he had no chance here. And it’s a good thing Skule wasn’t out there for too long.

Still, it was awfully apparent Washington’s stout defensive line was infinitely better than San Francisco’s makeshift offensive line, which has continued to struggle in pass protection this season. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey’s hold on the SF 49ers’ second-to-last offensive snap of the game wiped out a would-be 22-yard gain to Bourne, only signifying just how problematic McGlinchey’s maturation in pass protection has been.

Tack on multiple O-line spots as offseason needs for the Niners.