Nick Mullens: "I’m really just frustrated that we lost.”

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) throws a pass in the third quarter against the New York Giants at Levi's Stadium.Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Mullens Recaps His Performance against Giants

After the final play, you looked upset. Were you expecting a flag on the Giants?

“I actually was. We didn’t get what I thought was going to be called, so people are probably wondering what I was talking about. But, I didn’t get what I thought was called. So, we lost the game.”

What did you think it was?

“I thought there was a personal foul, but there wasn’t.”

Third-and-seven right after the two-minute warning, you threw a three-yard pass to WR Kendrick Bourne. Can you just take us through that play, what you saw?

“That is a very frustrating play for me. But, it’s man coverage, had a good look. Everybody did their assignment for the most part, really except me. That’s kind of how I feel about it. But, it would’ve been nice to convert. We didn’t and those are the plays you have to make to finish the game.”

Why was it frustrating? Do you feel you made the wrong read?

“I don’t know. I just feel like I could’ve been better, put the ball where it should’ve been. I didn’t, or I was late to it, I guess you could say. But, yeah, it was just frustrating. In the NFL, Coach Shanahan always talks about the moments of truth. That is a moment of truth if you ever see one. I didn’t get the job done.”

Obviously, every game isn’t going to be like your debut where pretty much everything went right. Generally, how do you think you did tonight in the second start?

“It’s hard to evaluate the overall performance. There’s so many plays that are running through my head where it’s very frustrating. Everybody did a great job. I think, shoot, when you’re out on the field you really sense the brotherhood. Everybody battled their butts off. Everybody obviously gave it the best they could. But, effort doesn’t always win games. Execution does. So, that’s why I’m pretty frustrated with myself right now.”

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said he thought that you handled those moments of truth, the bumps in the road along the way pretty well. Is that something that comes natural to you? Do you have to, like you just said, put those things aside and not let it bother you as much?

“I think the biggest thing in the course of the game I always try to myself is, ‘One play doesn’t affect the next. If you have a bad play, there’s no reason why you can’t have a good play the next play.’ So, that’s kind of what I keep telling myself through the game. Try to stay even-keeled, bring a positive energy to the field. Yeah, just talking about the moments of truth. I’ve got to perform better, and we’ve got to perform better and finish games when they’re there to finish.”

What could you have done better on the first interception? You threw it in the left flat on the boundary.

“Yeah, it wasn’t necessarily a terrible read. But, it was late and the corner made a good play on it. Yeah, that was about that. I definitely would have it back. Turnovers are obviously the story of the game in the NFL, as well. You give them a touchdown, we lose by what, four? So, you really realize that every single play in the game matters. It’s not okay when mistakes happen.”

What happened on the second interception?

“The tip ball? Just bad ball placement and bad luck. There’s no excuses for that.”

Obviously, you were kind of the man of the hour after that Raiders game in your debut start. Tonight, after the first interception when you face some adversity, were you still feeling total support from your teammates? Did you still feel that?

“Yeah, I thought everybody does a great job of that. We know that every game in the NFL is going to be close. Every game is going to be a dogfight and mistakes are going to happen. It’s tough. It’s never going to go perfect and you have to fight with your teammates, and that’s what I thought we did. We obviously didn’t finish, but we battled. We battled our butts off as hard as we could. I thought we did a great job, just everybody working together. The running backs, the O-Line, the receivers stepped up and made plays when they had to, even when it wasn’t the most accurate throw. So, that’s where it hurts so bad, man. I really had fun out there. Thought we really worked well together. We just didn’t score enough points.”

Do you think you’ve played well enough over these two games to deserve to start against Tampa Bay after the bye?

“I don’t know and I’m not worried about it. I’m really just frustrated that we lost.”

On the spike play, are you looking at the clock on that play? Do you have an internal clock in your head? How’s the whole progression working?

“That was as close as it can get. I knew I had to hurry up. Everybody did a great job of getting set and giving us a chance to at least have one shot at the end. So, that was a great job by everybody just getting down, getting set and getting a spike off.”

Some guys talked about learning through adversity, and you learn how to win through adversity. Others have said it’s time to end that talk and just put up or shut up and win games. I know you’ve only started for two games. Where do you fall on that?

“I don’t know. That’s a good question. You can talk about it all you want. I have to play better in those moments of truth. We all have to play better. It’s really just about how we come back, watch the tape, go to work and really feel how much this hurts. Don’t want to have this again, for sure.”

Did anything feel different to you coming into this start having had actual practice? Did anything feel different?

“You obviously had more time to prepare. So, that was cool. You get more reps, you feel more comfortable, feel confident. But, not really. You try to keep your mental approach consistent. That’s what I tried to do tonight. I thought our team did a pretty good job. Like I said, we just put in so much work. You put in so much work together. You have so much fun with your brothers out there. You come up short, it really sucks.”