There have been few players as disruptive as 49ers EDGE Nick Bosa this season, and that better earn him a Defensive Player of the Year award.
The race for the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award seems to be coming down to two players.
OK, there are probably a few other names being thrown into the mix, but let’s just focus on those two players (especially considering they’re the frontrunners in betting odds to receive the accolade).
A lot of assessing who should receive the award will stem from what one looks for in a defensive player.
Parsons, perhaps the best hybrid-type player going right now, can do a bit of everything. And while the proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none” can often apply to hybrid players, Parsons is the exception.
He truly can do a bit of everything and do it well.
This includes the pass rush, where he has 13 sacks, and yet he can also be an off-ball linebacker or run-stuffing defender, too.
There are plenty of other stats where Parsons has the edge over Bosa as well, including tackles (43 to 39), forced fumbles (three to two), fumble recoveries (two to zero), passes broken up (three to one) and defensive touchdowns (one to none).
However, that argument falls apart a bit when knowing Parsons can play at a number of different spots across the field and can accumulate those stats much easier.
And Bosa is far, far, far more dominant in his role.
Perhaps we’ll let NFL personalities like Richard Sherman and Emmanuel Acho settle the debate (h/t TheSF49ers):
Did that get us anywhere? Probably not.
Why Nick Bosa should be 2023 Defensive Player of the Year
Parsons is elite. Let’s not discount him anything there.
However, Bosa can counter with plenty of NFL-leading (or at least awfully close to it) stats of his own, as shown in the CBS Sports graph below:
To Sherman’s point (if you watch the video), Bosa is capable of making plays that players like Parsons would otherwise take advantage of, and one of the Niners players who did so back in that three-sack Week 13 game was linebacker Dre Greenlaw.
Greenlaw is no Parsons, but the former is enjoying a career-best year in 2022. Bosa has a lot to do with that.
In fact, that might translate into why Bosa gets the edge over Parsons anyway. The former is the best player on the NFL’s best defense, hands down. True, Parsons is the best player on that side of the ball for Dallas, but the Cowboys have literally given up 74 points over their last two games.
Bosa and the 49ers, meanwhile, have given up 33 over that same stretch.
Winning matters, and so does being dominant. Sure, Parsons and the Cowboys are winning. But those victories haven’t been as defensively impressive as Bosa and the Niners.
Simply put, the Defensive Player of the Year award needs to be Bosa’s.