49ers vs. Titans: Why Nick Bosa must terrorize Ryan Tannehill

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The 49ers are hitting form at the right time, and they could hold the edge (pun intended) with Nick Bosa in a big matchup against Ryan Tannehill and the Titans.

The San Francisco 49ers are hitting their stride just in time for the playoffs, and an easy 31-13 win over a fellow Wild Card chasing team in the Atlanta Falcons gives them an inside track to the postseason and the belief they can cause more than a bit of noise as well.

Niners fans could be forgiven for not feeling that way at the beginning of the game when a fumble on the kickoff return meant a goal-line stand for the defense. But the moment the defense came through and got the ball back, San Francisco never truly looked too threatened.

It’s a testament to how the stars on the team showed up.

One of those stars is EDGE Nick Bosa, who has been everything promised since the 49ers took him at No. 2 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft to be the crown jewel of the defensive line.

He’s currently at 15 sacks overall for the season and has a chance to take down the team record of 19.5 sacks in a year (albeit with an extra game), currently held by former EDGE Aldon Smith in 2012.

49ers need Nick Bosa to go off vs. Ryan Tannehill, Titans in Week 16

The Niners have a big game Thursday night against a Tennessee Titans outfit that is struggling a bit right now, and part of that is the struggle in protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tennessee has conceded the fifth-most sacks at the time of writing with 41 sacks allowed, and star running back Derrick Henry hasn’t returned yet from a foot injury to take the pressure off the offensive line.

Despite this, Bosa has a very good opponent against him at left tackle in Taylor Lewan, who despite some durability issues is still one of the best tackles in the game. But Bosa has been flipping back and forth on the line, and Tennessee right tackle David Quessenberry is nowhere close to being the player Lewan is.

It’s a key matchup for both teams and that extends to the running game, as well as their battle on passing downs.

Read More: What Niners can learn from Titans loss to Steelers

Both squads love to run the football, and right now, San Francisco is much more adept at it. Bosa will be licking his chops at the chance to add to his sacks as the team looks to cement its spot in the playoffs.

The 49ers currently have the sixth seed in the playoffs and would play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round as of right now, but the only real threats within immediate reach are the struggling Minnesota Vikings, whom the Niners own a tiebreaker over, the Washington Football Team, the Philadelphia Eagles (the Niners own a tiebreaker over Philly as well), and the New Orleans Saints who have to take on a surging Miami Dolphins team.

Should the 49ers beat the Titans, the toughest team remaining on their schedule before the regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, the playoffs are all but assured.

And if Bosa can continue being the unstoppable force that he’s been, the team can make a lot of noise for a Wild Card berth.

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