49ers MVP No. 3: EDGE Nick Bosa
Yes, having EDGE Nick Bosa back on the field makes all the difference in the world.
A year removed from his torn ACL suffered early in 2020, Bosa is already a third of the way towards tying his 2019 rookie sack mark of nine, entering Week 1 with a sack against Detroit and tacking on two more against the Eagles.
Granted, San Francisco had only two sacks on Jalen Hurts, both of them Bosa’s. And it was going to be proverbially “tough sledding” versus a strong Philadelphia offensive line anyway, let alone trying to chase down the mobile and elusive Hurts.
At least Bosa made his impact felt, though.
It’s not just the sacks themselves either. It’s when the occurred.
The first, on a 2nd-and-3 play, Hurts had almost the entire playbook open in the third quarter. Bosa forced a strip-sack on Hurts. And while the Eagles recovered the loose ball, they suddenly faced a 3rd-and-12 after that and couldn’t convert the first down.
On Bosa’s second, a 3rd-and-2 in the fourth quarter, Bosa brought Hurts down again to force a punt.
“Situational football” might be a cliche, but Bosa won those key situations.