49ers news: Nick Bosa should be Defensive Player of the Year candidate

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

In his return from a torn ACL in 2020, 49ers EDGE Nick Bosa has been playing lights out. Here are some reasons why he should be a candidate for DPOY.

2020 was anything but expected for San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa. He had a monster rookie season in 2019, one in which he recorded nine sacks on his way to a Pro Bowl selection and winning Defensive Rookie of the Year.

He was a featured member of a defensive line that included the likes of DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford, all of whom contributed to pressuring opposing quarterbacks.

In 2020, however, in just his second game of the season, Bosa suffered a torn ACL that kept him out for the rest of the year.

2021 has been a comeback and then some. Bosa is definitely making a case to be named this year’s Comeback Player of the Year, but in addition to that award, he is making a case for Defensive Player of the Year.

He has asserted himself as a top pass-rusher in the league, and overall menace to opposing quarterbacks.

But let’s take a look at a couple of reasons as to why Bosa should be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year.

49ers EDGE Nick Bosa: In the stats for DPOY

Bosa has been giving opposing offensive lines headaches and instilling fear into the hearts of their quarterbacks on a weekly basis.

Over 13 games into the season Bosa has 14 sacks. That has him tied for third place in the league in this particular category, but in the NFC, though, he ranks first in sacks. Additionally, he has 18 tackles for loss, which puts him at No. 1 in the league in that other all-important category.

To sum everything up in Bosa’s pass-rushing prowess, he has 43 quarterback pressures, putting him at second in the league with that number.

Sometimes stats don’t paint the whole picture, but that’s not the case with Bosa. His numbers clearly paint a picture of his productive season worthy of a DPOY nod.

National media taking notice of Nick Bosa

Where stats end is sometimes where Pro Football Focus continues the story. And PFF is definitely taking note of Bosa.

Bosa’s exceptional Week 14 performance against the Cincinnati Bengals earned him some recognition with PFF. He had a two-sack performance and he could’ve actually had three sacks had one of them not gotten nullified due to a penalty in the 49ers secondary.

For that performance against the Bengals, Bosa was named to PFF’s Week 14 Team of the Week and also named their Defensive Player of the Week.

Bosa’s battles against double teams have also been taken into account by the folks at ESPN. Earlier in the season, Seth Walder of the EPSN put together a graphic on Twitter that visualized pass rushers’ rates of getting double-teamed, and in turn their win rates against the double team:

Unsurprisingly, Bosa was one of the most double-teamed players in the league and also had one of the highest win rates again the double team. He effectively owned the top right quadrant of the chart.

Bosa has been making such an impact in his pass-rushing abilities that opposing teams around the league are specifically game-planning for him and making sure they double-team him regularly to keep their quarterbacks safe.

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While other pass-rushers, such as the Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ T.J. Watt may edge Bosa out slightly, when it comes to sacks, Bosa is absolutely on par with them when looking at his full body of work.

So, if Garrett and Watt are top candidates for DPOY, Bosa should also be included in that conversation.

Perhaps winning it.

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