Nick Bosa by the numbers: 49ers’ star pass rusher stating case to be NFL Defensive Player of the Year –

When discussing the best defensive players in the NFL, Nick Bosa should always be in the conversation. The best player on a San Francisco 49ers defense full of stars, Bosa has taken his game to the next level in 2022 — and the defensive unit has immensely benefitted from his success. 

The 49ers defense leads the NFL in points per game (15.1) and yards per game (286.8), thanks to the presence of Bosa. San Francisco allows the fewest first downs (214) while leading the league in rush defense (75.1 yards per game) and yards per carry allowed (3.4). The 49ers allow just 24.3% of opponents’ drives to end in an offensive score (best in NFL) while allowing just 1.35 points per possession (also best in the NFL). 

Bosa has certainly lived up to his role in the dominant defense with 14.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and 35 quarterback hits. One of the top pass rushers in the league, Bosa is having his best season — making his case for Defensive Player of the Year in the process. 

This week’s “By the Numbers” takes a look at Bosa’s strong 2022 season and how he’s at the forefront of many pass-rushing categories. 

NFL sack leaders — 2022 season

NFL tackle for loss leaders — 2022 season

NFL QB hit leaders — 2022 season

NFL pressure leaders — 2022 season

Bosa is on the verge of making history entering Thursday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Needing just a 0.5 sack, Bosa would become the fifth player since 2000 with 15-plus sacks in consecutive seasons, joining Simeon Rice (2002, 2003, DeMarcus Ware (2010, 2011), J.J. Watt (2014, 2015) and T.J. Watt (2020, 2021). Bosa had 15.5 sacks last season and has 30 sacks over the last two seasons — the only player with 30 sacks in the league. 

Bosa’s 36 tackles for loss are also the most in the NFL over the last two seasons, along with his 67 quarterback hits (the next highest is 56). His 139 pressures trail only Maxx Crosby (160) for most in the NFL, showcasing how Bosa has been one of the top pass rushers in the game over the last two years. 

What makes Bosa’s run even more impressive is the lack of supporting cast he has — in terms of sack and quarterback hit numbers. Charles Omenihu is second on the 49ers with four sacks and Samson Ebukam has 3.5. While Bosa has 15 tackles for loss, Kevin Givens is second on the team with seven and Ebukam is third with six. Omenihu has just 13 quarterback hits, which is second on the team (Bosa almost has three times as many quarterback hits as the next player on his own team). 

The way Bosa has led the 49ers defense throughout the season garners his Defensive Player of the Year candidacy. Bosa is also having one of the best seasons for a pass rusher in 49ers history in the process. 

Most sacks in a season — 49ers history

Most QB hits in a season — 49ers history 

Most tackles for loss in a season — 49ers history 

Bosa already has set several of the single-season franchise marks for a pass rusher, but he’s on pace to challenge Aldon Smith for the most sacks for any player in franchise history. On pace for 19 sacks this year, Bosa would be half a sack shy of Smith’s single-season record of 19.5 — yet it’s important to note Bosa missed a game this year. 

Prior to Sunday’s game where Bosa was without a sack, Bosa had six consecutive games with a sack. He’s the fifth player since 2000 to record a sack in nine of his first 10 games played, joining Hugh Douglas (2000), Robert Mathis (2005), DeMarcus Ware (2008) and Everson Griffen (2017). On top of the sack totals, Bosa is on pace for 46 quarterback hits and 20 tackles for loss — which would make him just the second player to ever have 45 quarterback hits and 20 tackles for loss in a season (J.J. Watt did this three times from 2013 to 2015).

On top of Bosa’s regular-season success, Bosa has just eight sacks in six career postseason games — trailing only LaMarr Woodley (10) and Richard Dent (9.5) for the most in NFL history. In his fourth season, Bosa has demonstrated he’s one of the best pass rushers in the league — and on his way toward becoming the 49ers’ first Defensive Player of the Year since 1997. 

This content was originally published here.

Share this story