Before the San Francisco 49ers victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, edge rusher Nick Bosa left last Thursday's practice saying it was his "best practice" yet – a scary sight to see at this point in the season. The edge rusher's success in practice is yielding positive results on gameday – in Sunday's contest, the edge rusher notched his 15th sack of the season. His sack forced a fumble that linebacker Fred Warner snatched up, allowing the 49ers to steamroll their way down the field for a two-score lead.
"Bosa is an amazing player," wide receiver Deebo Samuel said. "Whether you double or triple team him, he's always going to find a way to get to the quarterback. It's just his mindset that he goes out there and plays with."
With three games left to play, Bosa is edging closer to former 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith's franchise sack record of 19.5 set in 2012.
"I'd like that," Bosa said. "I definitely would like to have my name on there for this organization; but I'm also just trying to take it one day at a time."
Bosa has now registered at least one sack in six-consecutive games, the longest streak by a member of the 49ers since Smith had seven-straight in 2012. After defeating the Falcons, Bosa has also recorded a career-high four forced fumbles on the season and six in his career.
Alongside his career-high sack numbers, Bosa has made himself a dominant presence in league standings. He leads the NFL in tackles for loss (18) and his 15 sacks are tied for the second-most in the league behind Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt with 17.5. It's worth noting, Bosa's outstanding season comes just 15 months removed from an ACL injury that forced him to miss all but two games in 2020. Even back in August, players like Trent Williams noted the rare uptick in Bosa's strength and power coming off of injury, affirming the edge rusher's playing even better than his Defensive Rookie of the Year season in 2019. Not only the numbers, but the impact that the defensive end has displayed 15 weeks into the season has brought his teammates and coaches to assert him into the conversation for NFL honors.
"I don't know how he's not the frontrunner and running away with Comeback Player of the Year and just doesn't get talked about as Defensive Player of the Year even though he's having a hell of a year and people just can't stop him," said tight end George Kittle.
Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans added: "He's definitely been our MVP and I'm so happy to have him on our side… I just love the way he works, love the way he brings other guys along with him, he's everything you could ask for in a player."