It's not every day that you get the newest star in the NFL to emerge from completely out of the blue, but that's exactly what happened during Thursday Night Football between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders.
Nick Mullens made his NFL debut last night for the 49ers in a game which he will never forget anytime soon, and it was a game that changed his life forever too.
The former Southern Mississippi quarterback was signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2017. After spending last year on the practice squad, Mullens got called up to the active roster after Jimmy Garoppolo picked up a season-ending injury.
When it was revealed that backup quarterback C.J. Bethard couldn't really grip a football due to a wrist injury from the previous Sunday, Mullens got his chance to play in the NFL, and he ran with it.
The 23-year-old dominated the Raiders and looked like an All-Pro in his NFL debut, finishing the game 16 for 22 for 262 passing yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions while guiding San Francisco to a 34-3 victory. He almost had a perfect game.
Mullens' first big play of the game was when he hit Pierre Garcon for a 24-yard touchdown in the first quarter. As well as it being his first touchdown, it was also the wide receiver's first touchdown for the 49ers.
Mullens threaded the needle again later on to Garcon once more on a great passing play that went for 25 yards. A few plays later, he had his second touchdown pass of the game when he hit Kendrick Bourne on a four-yard pass.
The fun continued for the 23-year-old in the second quarter, as he connected with Richie James Jr. for a 53-yard gain on a quick slant.
Near the start of the third quarter, Mullens found George Kittle, who grabbed the ball with one hand for a 71-yard gain. Kittle finished the drive two plays later when he caught a five-yard touchdown pass.
Mullens finished the game with a passer rating of 151.9, which is the highest since 1970 for a quarterback with at least 20 passing attempts in a debut. He was also the first player in 49ers history to throw three touchdowns in his first game for the team.
As a result of his fantastic debut, Mullens' Twitter account went from an unverified account with 5,000 followers, to a verified account with more than 16,000 followers during the game.
The 49ers will now have to decide if Mullens has done enough to play in Week 10 against the New York Giants. Judging by his performance tonight, it will be surprising if the 49ers don't give him another chance.