Thursday Night Observations

Quarterback isn’t everything. Despite starting a non-prospect with no NFL experience, the 49ers dominated the Raiders Thursday night, with eight sacks and a 31-point margin of victory in a game with no turnovers and a net difference of 17 penalty yards.

• Nick Mullens completed 16 of 22 passes for 262 yards (11.9 YPA), three TDs, no picks and no sacks. He was a little herky-jerky at times, but mostly accurate, especially on slants and crossing routes where his receivers were able to run through the catch. The Niners should give him work against a real defense to see if they have something because C.J. Beathard isn’t good. Of course, Jimmy Garoppolo is coming back next year, so this is largely a battle to be the backup QB.

• Raheem Mostert looked great running for a long TD, but he broke his forearm and is likely out for the year. Matt Breida looked gimpy by comparison, and Alfred Morris positively sluggish.

• George Kittle was the team’s offensive star, catching a slant in traffic with one hand and taking it 71 yards before catching the short TD on that same drive. Kittle was outrunning defensive backs on the big play and has to be considered a top-five TE, no matter who’s under center. Richie James and Pierre Garcon also chipped in with big plays, while Marquise Goodwin saw four targets, but caught only one pass.

• Derek Carr was under pressure for much of the night, and when he did throw it was all dink and dunk. Somehow he got 181 yards and 8.1 YPA, but when you add in the sacks, it wasn’t much.

• Jalen Richard’s 4-4-45 night led the Raider pass catchers. Doug Martin and DeAndre Washington ran well in limited action, but game flow made most of their carries meaningless.

• I had the 49ers -3 and nearly switched it after thinking about the QB disparity, but I’m glad I didn’t. These days system and circumstances so often trump the particular name on the jersey.

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