Mullens set for sequel as 49ers host Giants
The San Francisco 49ers will seek to take advantage of a one-win team for the second week in a row when they host the New York Giants on Monday night in Santa Clara, Calif.
The 49ers, who were a one-win team themselves when they hosted the Oakland Raiders in a nationally televised game last Thursday, rode the impressive NFL debut of quarterback Nick Mullens to a 34-3 romp over their San Francisco Bay Area rival.
Mullens will get a second start in place of C.J. Beathard, this time based on his 262-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Raiders rather than the thumb and wrist injuries that held Beathard out of the Oakland game.
Mullens began the week with a simple request of the media: Stop gushing over his NFL debut so that he could focus on Game 2.
"I'm done reflecting on it," the Southern Mississippi product said Tuesday. "But it was a very cool moment. I tried to give it everything I had, and when your work pays off, it's exciting."
The 49ers (2-7) faced the Giants (1-7) in a similar situation at about this time last year, ending a season-opening, nine-game losing streak with a 31-21 home win over a New York team that had brought a 1-7 record to town.
Beathard was the starting quarterback in that game.
Eli Manning will once again lead the Giants, but this time he'll have a much more talented supporting cast featuring rookie running back Saquon Barkley and star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who was injured at the time of last year's meeting.
Giants coach Pat Shurmur had a week to contemplate a quarterback change with his team having been on a bye after Manning was intercepted twice and sacked seven times in a 20-13 loss at Washington in Week 8.
However, the coach short-circuited any talk this week about a quarterback controversy when he announced Tuesday that Manning would retain his starting role.
"I explained to him that he's going to start on Monday," Shurmur said of a conversation he had with Manning. "I also explained to Eli that everybody needs to play better as we go through this. It's important that we're not 'almost' in these games and we do what we have to do to get it over the top and win football games. We'll just take it from there."
The Giants have lost five in a row, although their two road losses during the stretch were by just two points at Carolina and by three points at Atlanta.
The 49ers had lost six in a row, including at home by 10 points to Arizona and by 29 points to the Los Angeles Rams, before the win over Oakland.
--Field Level Media
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