Plan on Nick Bosa, 49ers tormenting Panthers QB Baker Mayfield

Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

87. 49ers -6.5. 2-2. CBS. 1-3. 4:05 p.m. ET. 42. Sunday, Oct. 9

The last time the 49ers met Baker Mayfield, Nick Bosa went off with a statement game, and these two will be reunited again in Week 5 with similar results.

It shouldn’t be too hard for San Francisco 49ers fans to remember what happened the last time then-rookie EDGE Nick Bosa managed to do against then-Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The year was 2019, of course, and Bosa had himself a statement game with two sacks, five quarterback hits and a forced-fumble recovery.

Mayfield, meanwhile, completed only eight passes in the game for 100 yards and finished with a passer rating of only 13.4 in what turned into a 31-3 rout at the hands of the Niners.

Quite the flag-planting statement by Bosa, of course.

Mayfield is in new digs, now with the struggling Carolina Panthers who don’t figure to offer up much of an offensive challenge to San Francisco’s NFL top-ranked defense over four weeks. And while Mayfield hasn’t necessarily been atrocious by any means, he also hasn’t been the right component to get embattled head coach Matt Rhule’s offense back on track.

Needless to say, Bosa vs. Mayfield, Round 2, will be an enticing battle to watch when these two teams square off against each other on Sunday.

Nick Bosa, 49ers pass rush a massive mismatch vs. Baker Mayfield

In terms of sacks taken this year, Mayfield is certainly up there with 11 so far, well within the top 10 after four weeks. And his sack percentage of 8.6 is tied for the eighth highest, too, suggesting even some more modest defenses are capable of getting home against him.

Meanwhile, Bosa enters Week 5 with an NFL-leading six sacks, and the 49ers own 15 as a team, which was tied for second most after four weeks.

As far as protection goes, Mayfield might still wish he was on the Browns, especially considering Pro Football Focus’ first-quarter-of-the-season offensive line rankings (Cleveland finished third), while Carolina’s O-line is all the way down at 27th.

PFF expanded on the problems here:

"-Rookie Ikem Ekwonu had his best game in the NFL in Week 4 against Arizona, and he did it against capable opposition in Markus Golden.-Carolina’s line is suffering inside of a directionless offense overall. The team ranks dead last in EPA per play.Upcoming Opponent: San Francisco 49ersThe 49ers have the best defense in the NFL, and Nick Bosa is coming off a 14-pressure performance on Monday night. Ekwonu is going to need help to survive that encounter."

Related Story: Niners defense should feast vs. struggling Panthers

Ekwonu, the Panthers’ starting left tackle, has already surrendered three sacks and 10 pressures on the season, per PFF, while right tackle Taylor Moton has given up one sack and nine pressures.

Whichever side Bosa lines up on should be advantageous, while Ebukam shouldn’t have overly daunting challenges either.

Needless to say, Sunday’s contest is shaping up to be a lopsided affair in which Bosa and Co. look to make life awfully difficult on Mayfield and a scuffling Panthers offense.

The two teams kick off at 4:05 p.m. ET from Bank of America Stadium on Oct. 9.

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