Two of a kind: How 49ers' Nick Bosa has matched brother

 nbcsports.com  10/12/2019 05:22:17 

Like father, like son, like son.

The Bosas have what you would call great bloodlines for defensive linemen, as father John and sons Joey and Nick are one of two families in NFL history -- along with the Mannings -- to have three first-round draft picks.

Oh, and Joey and Nick's uncle, Eric Kumerow, was drafted in the first round the year after their father. Not bad, huh? 

Imagine what those backyard games were like.

Much like the Bosas that came before him, Nick is off to a tremendous start to his NFL career, coming off a performance in which he was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his dominance in the 49ers' win over the Browns. His 26 quarterback pressures are the most by any rookie through the first five weeks of a season since 2006, according to Pro Football Focus.

20 PFF stats to know after Week 5 of the NFL season! https://t.co/10EdFGUieO pic.twitter.com/mBh769rolz

— PFF (@PFF) October 10, 2019

The key word there is "first." It turns out that Nick has been precisely as disruptive -- at least in terms of QB pressures -- as Joey was over the first four games of his now-decorated career.

That's right. Two brothers, one who was a No. 2 overall pick and one who was a No. 3, who play the same position, had an identical number of quarterback pressures over their first four NFL games. The only difference is, Joey's first four games came later in his rookie season with the Chargers, as he missed the first four weeks in a contract holdout.

[RELATED: 49ers GM Lynch says Bosa sets standard going forward]

Joey went on to be named the 2016 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after totaling 10.5 sacks in 12 games. Nick sure seems headed in the same direction, and little bro has a head start.

The 49ers are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFC. They did what they were supposed to, taking advantage of the early portion of the season schedule, which was considerably less challenging than what the latter stages of it will bring.

San Francisco is one of 10 NFC teams with at least three wins. Then there's also the Lions, sitting just behind that group at 2-1-1.

Surely, as the season wears on, the group contending for the six playoff spots in the conference will thin out a bit. Critical injuries are certain to occur, and some quick starts surely are fool's gold. Still, though, that's a crowded field, and each of those 11 teams has a legitimate chance to qualify for the postseason.

The Athletic's Michael Lombardi previously has served as an executive for numerous NFL teams, including the 49ers, Browns, Eagles, Raiders and Patriots. He has seen a lot of playoff football, and recently he set out to rank the 11 NFC contenders based on the first five weeks of play.

And let's just say, he's a believer in San Francisco.

Lombardi ranked the 49ers first overall among the 11 NFC contenders, while the Eagles, Saints, Packers, Seahawks and Cowboys rounded out the top six. 

"The 49ers have everything I love about a team -- a strong defensive line, with depth that can rush the passer, along with an offense that scores early," Lombardi wrote. "The 49ers also currently rank 2nd in offensive rushes and completions, with 58.3 per game (anything over 51 is excellent) and defensive rushes and completions allowed, with just 38.5 (anything below 46 is great.)"

Everyone is going to have their own version of the rankings, but there's certainly evidence to support Lombardi's assertion. Consider this: The 49ers have outscored their opponents by 70 points so far this season, whereas the Eagles and Cowboys are a combined plus-71. The four NFC North teams area a combined plus-85, and the Saints ... they're a minus-1.

San Francisco will face five of the 10 other NFC contenders throughout the remainder of the regular season, including two matchups with each of the Rams and Seahawks. The first of those meetings with Los Angeles comes this Sunday in Week 6, and Lombardi believes it will be a significant challenge for the 49ers, particularly due to some of the injuries that have occurred.

"This week theyll be playing without both starting tackles, Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey," he wrote, "and so their overall depth on the O-line will be tested against a good Rams front (albeit one missing Clay Matthews.)"

[RELATED: Kittle questionable for NFC West clash between 49ers, Rams]

Sunday will be the first of many crucial NFC contender matchups for San Francisco over the next 12 weeks. But if they beat the Rams, the bandwagon is only going to get more crowded.

49ers defensive end Nick Bosa made his presence known against the Cleveland Browns on Monday in the 31-3 win -- and it was beyond just his flag trolling of Baker Mayfield. Although that was pretty epic.

That celebrating was brought on post-sack, and despite his dad John saying it was out of character for him, the hit itself was not. As a matter of fact, he set the bar for that performance.

"I think that's the standard now," 49ers general manager John Lynch said on KNBR's "Murph and Mac" show.

Bosa has always had an eye and the spotlight on him and with his health concerns finally subsiding, he was ready to show what he's made of.

Bosa didn't disappoint.

"I think his health, the ability to turn early on that ankle, the bye week really did him wonders," Lynch said. "And he came out and played like -- that was a special effort. It really was."

Lynch doesn't anticipate him stopping now. 

"That's the type of player he can be, though, consistently," he added.

"He's going to have guys chipping," Lynch said. "He's going to have tight ends with presence on him. He's going to have people coming across formations. All those things."

The 49ers have other young help from Dee Ford and DeForest Buckner that doesn't hurt by any means. Unless of course, you're a member of the opposing team. And Lynch realizes that.

[RELATED: Rams not likely to have Gurley, Talib vs. 49ers]

"The nice thing and the way we build this line is, OK, well, you've got Dee Ford on the other side," Lynch explained. "So you try to pick your poison, and whatever you do, we've got an answer for it."

"But Nick is an incredibly talented football player. I think Kyle [Shanahan] is exactly right. We felt like he played at a very high level the first three games. It kind of went unnoticed because he didn't finish. He left a lot of sacks out there. I mean, this guy could legitimately have 10 sacks right now. He kind of fell off a bunch earlier in the year."

« Go back