The San Francisco 49ers look like they have begun straightening out the ship after a rocky start to the 2022 season. Losing starting quarterback Trey Lance was a big blow, as they spent the entire offense remodeling the offense around his skill set after having Jimmy Garoppolo under center the last few years.
Lance and Garoppolo could not have any more different styles of play. Lance relies heavily on his athleticism as a dual threat with a huge arm. Garoppolo is more of a game manager, limiting turnovers and taking what is given to him.
After not taking any first-team reps throughout the offseason and believing that he would be traded, Garoppolo is back under center looking to get the team over the hump. The transition back to him will take some time to get used to, which puts pressure on the team’s defense to step up.
Luckily for the 49ers, they have been up to the task thus far. San Francisco has yet to allow 20 points in a game this season and they currently rank first in points and yardage allowed, and have given up the fewest first downs in the NFL.
No matter what opposing offenses have tried to do, the 49ers have been stout and finding a way to stop them. The passing defense has found so much success in large part because of the performance of their pass rush, led by Nick Bosa.
The No. 2 overall pick from the 2019 NFL Draft had an excellent rookie season, winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. An ACL injury derailed his second season, but in 2021, he returned and picked up right where he left off.
This season, he has taken things to yet another level. Bosa is living in the opponent’s backfield, as he leads the NFL with 31 pressures thus far this season. The next closest on the list is Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys with 28.
He is making those pressures count as Bosa is tied for the league lead in sacks with 6.0 along with Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders, Matt Judon of the New England Patriots and Parsons. Like Parsons, Crosby and Judon are on the pressures list as well, tied for fourth with 22.
Bosa is in the midst of what is shaping up to be a great season. It could not have come at a better time as the 49ers need their defense playing at an elite level to win games. Also, Bosa is eligible for an extension during the 2023 offseason, so heading into it with another dominant season means more earnings for him.