Why Nick Bosa is the deserving boss of 49ers' elite defense

Why Defensive End Nick Bosa is a difference maker for San Francisco's pass-rush

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97)
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Nick Bosa, the NFL's highest-paid non-quarterback, is the 49ers' best defensive weapon.

What does five (more) years and $170 million get you if in the Bay Area? The answer is money well spent and the highest-paid non-quarterback in the history of the league.

With the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected defensive end Nick Bosa, and the former Ohio State athlete would go on to have an impressive rookie campaign.

In the full 16 games that season, Bosa recorded 32 tackles, nine sacks, a pair of fumble recoveries and his only interception to date. The Niners would go on to win the NFC West at 13-3 as they would lose in Superbowl LIV.

In 2020, Bosa suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 2. However, since his return, Bosa has been a dominating presence for the defense and a terror for opposing offenses.

San Francisco indeed felt the absence of Bosa as the team only recorded 30 sacks that injury-plagued year and also failed to qualify for the postseason.

49ers edge Nick Bosa: Highest paid, top producing

The 49ers have benefited from Bosa's productivity, and they have made the NFC Championship game in every season since drafting Bosa with the exception of 2020 when he only played in two games.

Nick Bosa
Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The 6-foot-4 and 265-pound phenom would tally 15.5 sacks in all 17 games in 2021 and 18.5 more in 16 games during the 2022 season.

His toughness has been matched by his durability since the ACL injury.

Nick Bosa is terrific for 49ers defense, a terror for opposing offenses

In 2021, the 49ers were tied for fifth overall in sacks, and then in 2022, they were tied for 10th overall. The Niners defense also led the league with a plus-13 turnover differential in 2022, too.

Following the 42-10 thumping of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in Week 5, San Francisco remains undefeated and sits atop the NFC West standings. The 49ers are poised to make a return to the NFC Championship game and potentially the Super Bowl.

Bosa, meanwhile, has represented the Niners now in three of the last four Pro Bowls.

He is an asset for the 49er's 4-3 defensive package and perhaps the boss.

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