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The 49ers: Nick Bosa will be ready to play in Week 1

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Nick Bosa, a huge boost for the 49ers’ defensive line, is on track to play week 1.


On Sunday, Bleacher Report noted that Nick Bosa is on track to play week 1 after tearing his ACL at the beginning of the 2020 season. What does this mean for the 49ers’ defense as a whole? Much more than you may think. Sure, we all know Nick Bosa is a stud, but he means much more to this defense than just personal statistics.

What does Nick Bosa do for the Defensive Line?

Look back to Bosa’s rookie season, a season in which he won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and you see his importance across the defensive line. Bosa wins on every level, with strength, speed, and versatility, any which way he can. Watch him here in camp. He does not seem to have lost  a step:

With Bosa, Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, and Dee Ford all healthy in 2019, the defensive line was incredibly versatile. If you watched the Super Bowl run that the 49ers made, you saw each one of those defensive line players move all across the line.

Each was able to line up either inside or on the edge and the stunt moves that resulted were things of beauty. The ability to play all across the line kept offensive lines off balance, and the entire defense benefitted from it.

Armstead watched his personal stats tank in 2020 with the loss of Bosa, dropping from 10 sacks to 3.5 total. Javon Kinlaw was also supposed to be the second coming of Buckner, which is why they traded Buckner for a first-round pick, though he struggled mightily with the absence of Bosa.

Masking the Secondary

With bolstering the defensive line again, the 49ers have the ability to mask one of the biggest question marks on the defense, which is the secondary. Quickly getting to the quarterback forces rapid throws, poor reads, and poor decision-making by QBs. With how quick the 49ers line should get to the quarterback, routes have less time to develop and big plays are less likely to happen.

The 49ers’ secondary, though it played well in 2020, lost their best cornerback in Richard Sherman, and have not done much to replace him. Getting to the quarterback will be key for this defense.

Nick Bosa is good (IDP Guys DE4)

As a rookie, Nick Bosa was dominant, and his Rookie of The Year accolade proved such. Per Pro Football Reference, Nick Bosa was tied for seventh in the league in total pressures with 45, tied for eighth in QB hits with 25, and fifth in the league in tackles for a loss with 16. Bosa lived behind the line of scrimmage and his playoff run was even more impressive.

In Bosa’s first playoff game against the Vikings, he was a beast. He had six tackles, two for a loss, three QB hits, and two sacks while playing 76% of the team’s defensive snaps. In the next game, the NFC Championship against the Packers, Bosa was equally impressive turning out four tackles, one for a loss, one sack, and one QB hit on 81% of the team’s snaps.

Then came the Super Bowl, where they faced the offensive powerhouse Chiefs. Nobody made Patrick Mahomes feel more uncomfortable all season than Bosa did. Watch Bosa’s Super Bowl highlights here:

Bosa finished the Super Bowl with five tackles, one QB hit, one sack, a pass defended, and a forced fumble. If there was any worry if he could perform on the big stage, there no longer is.

Summary

With Bosa back to full health, the 49ers’ defense should be much improved. Not only should Bosa take off right where he left off, but his teammates’ production should vastly improve as well. The fact that Bosa is already participating in camp, and Shanahan’s vote of confidence that he will be ready for week one, bodes well for Bosa’s 2021 season outlook.


Thank you for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @JoeyTheToothIDP, and check out all of my IDP, Devy, and Offensive work at idpguys.org. Be sure to order our rookie draft magazines, which we load with fantastic player profiles and landing spot analysis.

Joseph Haggan

I am the content manager for IDPGUYS and Co-Host of the IDP Lounge. Creator or the top IDP scoring/rankings tool. Aspiring prospect scout.
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