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Nick Mullens will be the fifth 49ers QB to start against the Seahawks since 2016

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been five years since the San Francisco 49ers last defeated the Seattle Seahawks, and seven years since they were winners at CenturyLink Field. Preseason expectations had the 49ers as potential playoff contenders, hence this weekend’s game was scheduled for Sunday Night Football before being yanked on the basis of the Niners being a really bad team.

Of course, San Francisco was supposed to have franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the season, but he was lost to a torn ACL in early September, and since then they’ve gone to C.J. Beathard and (after a Beathard injury) Nick Mullens. After a sparkling debut against the Oakland Raiders, in which he threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions, Mullens has come back down to earth, throwing four interceptions to just two touchdowns. The Niners were held to 9 points by an awful Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, whose interception count increased from 1 to 3 last weekend.

Despite his recent struggles, Head coach Kyle Shanahan is sticking with Mullens as his starter for Sunday, which makes him the fifth 49ers quarterback to face the Seahawks just within the past two years. You don’t need to be good at math to figure out that the 49ers have started/will have started a different quarterback in literally every game against Seattle since 2016.

Unbelievably, the last 49ers QB to earn consecutive starts vs. Seattle is Blaine Gabbert, who was at the helm in November 2015 and September 2016, with both games at CenturyLink Field. Colin Kaepernick started in the 2016 regular season finale, in what stands as his most recent NFL appearance to date. In 2017, Kyle Shanahan started the year with Brian Hoyer, who turned in an ass-tacular 15/27 for 99 yards and INT performance in a 12-9 defeat in September. Last November in Santa Clara, the Niners went with C.J. Beathard, who went 22/38 for 201 yards, an INT, and an injury that ushered in the Jimmy Garoppolo era.

So there you have it. Gabbert, Kaepernick, Hoyer, Beathard, and now Mullens. The Seahawks have dealt with Matthew Stafford, Philip Rivers, Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers, and Cam Newton over the past month’s worth of games, so a second-year UDFA in a hostile environment ought to lead to a big day for Seattle’s young defense.