49ers roster: Why Nick Bosa puts in a monstrous 2022 campaign

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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Nick Bosa, Yosh Nijman, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) takes on Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Yosh Nijman (73) Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

Why Nick Bosa regresses with 49ers in 2022

There are two surface-level arguments why Nick Bosa might not come close to replicating what happened in 2021.

For starters, those numbers are sustainable for only the elite of elite pass-rushers. And while Bosa is close to that mark, we’re still waiting to see if he can have back-to-back years of this nature.

And there’s always the injury factor, too.

At any rate, let’s explore beyond those reasons why Bosa might not be quite as prolific in 2022 as he was last season, and they make plenty of sense.

For starters, one tactic opposing teams used to somewhat negate Bosa when he was lining up in a wide-9 pass-rushing formation was to line up a tight end or big-bodied wide receiver, chip Bosa with that kind of a block and thereby take at least half a second or so off of Bosa’s time to get to the quarterback.

It worked well, and it’s a commonly used strategy against teams that use a wide-9 alignment.

Granted, Bosa and the Niners had other means to counter this, too, but many of those resulted in the other members of the defensive line picking up the slack.

This partially explains why fellow pass-rushers such as Arden Key and Samson Ebukam had late-season pushes.

Should this wind up being the case again in 2022, it’s possible Bosa winds up in the range of 10 to 12 sacks.

Still an extremely great number, just not quite at that elite level.