49ers better get Nick Bosa back vs. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers puts pressure on Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers puts pressure on Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

124. Fox. 3-3. Chiefs -3. 42. 4: 25 p.m. ET. 4-2. Sunday, Oct. 23

The 49ers are going to have a tough time slowing down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense on Sunday, but Nick Bosa returning would help immensely.

In an ideal world, the San Francisco 49ers wouldn’t be entering their Week 7 home contest against the 4-2 Kansas City Chiefs with a 3-3 record, dangerously close to falling below the .500 threshold again after righting the ship following a 1-2 start.

But, following the Niners’ Week 6 road loss to the Atlanta Falcons, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad faces a daunting task when it welcomes quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to town this Sunday.

And that Kansas City team is fresh off a frustrating, nail-biting and exhilarating loss to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday, too, and KC would love nothing more than to right its own ship by knocking off the inconsistent 49ers.

Mahomes, who earned MVP honors when the Chiefs beat the Niners in Super Bowl LIV in February of 2020, is back to his usual self, having thrown for more than 1,700 yards in six games with a league-best 17 touchdowns against four interceptions, all for a passer rating of 106.1.

No wonder KC has the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense with 179 points to date.

However, if San Francisco plans on slowing Mahomes down, it’ll need its best pass-rusher to reenter the fray, Nick Bosa.

49ers hope to get Nick Bosa back from injury

Bosa exited Week 5’s contest against the Carolina Panthers with a groin injury and wasn’t able to return, subsequently missing Week 6 despite reportedly being a game-time decision and awfully close to being able to play.

The 49ers pass rush struggled as a result, sacking Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota only twice.

Bosa, and his team-leading six sacks, could have been the X-factor there even if Mariota only dropped back to pass 14 times. With Mahomes, who has a notable 229 pass attempts on the season, will afford pass-rushers like Bosa more opportunities for sacks and quarterback hits.

Earlier this week, head coach Kyle Shanahan sounded optimistic about Bosa’s pending return, telling reporters, “I’m really hoping for it and I think there’s a decent chance [Bosa will be back].”

With the Niners’ No. 2 pass-rusher, Samson Ebukam, dinged up with an Achilles injury, having Bosa available would be a great boost to a defense that’ll need to be on point versus the Chiefs after it slipped a bit in Atlanta.

49ers’ Nick Bosa is key to beating Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

The Niners may want to take a page out of what the Bills did to Mahomes and Co. at Arrowhead Stadium last Sunday, the 24-20 victory for Buffalo in which Mahomes was sacked only three times but endured two of them from All-Pro EDGE Von Miller.

USA Today’s For the Win illustrated why this was so vital:

"With Mahomes and the Chiefs getting the chance to once again break Buffalo’s heart in the final minute of an instant classic, someone had to make a play. Someone had to force Mahomes off his spot, out of his comfort zone, and into a place where he’d make a mistake that could win the game for the Bills. Because anything less, and the guy in the red No. 15 jersey was probably going to do “it” again.Enter Miller, who split a double team on the first play of the possession to pressure Mahomes off his spot as the QB rushed a sidearm throw that Taron Johnson picked off."

No sack to report here, but Miller’s pressure on Mahomes proved to be the difference-maker in a clutch situation.

Read More: 49ers vs. Chiefs: Betting odds, prediction for Week 7 game

Kansas City invested plenty of resources in its offensive line to protect Mahomes after its own disastrous Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the year after it beat San Francisco. As such, Mahomes’ 11 sacks taken is right in the middle of the pack six weeks into the 2022 season.

So, getting to Mahomes and taking him down likely won’t be easy.

However, as Miller displayed, sometimes it’s just the pressure that can force the difference.

And if the 49ers want to hang in there against one of this generation’s truly elite quarterbacks, they’ll need Bosa to be on point and make a massive difference.

Hopefully in a fully healthy manner.

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