49ers' Nick Bosa breaks out brass knuckles as teammates pile on praise

49ers' Nick Bosa breaks out brass knuckles as teammates pile on praise

SANTA CLARA -- Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa earned an award that he cherished for his dominating performance Monday night in the 49ers’ 31-3 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

No, not the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award. He received that, too.

"I couldn't care less," Bosa said of the league-wide award. "I"m just trying to keep playing, keep winning."

But on an upper shelf at Bosa’s locker, he reached up to show off gold-plated brass knuckles and an accompanying placard signed by each of the 49ers’ other defensive linemen.

The team’s defensive line coach, Kris Kocurek, presented Bosa with the award for best representing the theme of the week. Bosa emerged as the winner of the 'Brass Knuckles Street Fight' honor, which referred to the mindset Kocurek wanted his linemen to play with against the Browns. The theme changes every week.

Bosa registered two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery Monday night at Levi's Stadium. He also forced Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield into an intentional grounding penalty.

Bosa emphasized he used revenge as a motivating factor from his college days at Ohio State, when Mayfield went to the Buckeyes’ home field and planted a University of Oklahoma flag on the field after leading the Sooners to a victory.

“It was a real thing,” Bosa said. “We wanted some revenge there. All the older guys hit me up and said good job.”

Bosa said a lot of his Ohio State teammates, including New Orleans defensive back Marshon Lattimore, and defensive linemen Tyquan Lewis (Indianapolis), Jalyn Holmes (Minnesota) and Tracy Sprinkle reached out to congratulate him for his own flag-planting gesture.

Bosa has certainly not eased into his first quarter-season in the NFL after arriving as the No. 2 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Bosa and DeForest Buckner are tied for the team lead with three sacks. But Bosa said he does not believe opponents will be able to devote any more resources toward blocking him because of the 49ers’ other defensive linemen. 

“That can’t really last too long because we have three other guys who can win one-on-one and get to the quarterback,” Bosa said. “So if they want to chip me and slide to me, that’ll free up Arik (Armstead) one-on-one with a guard, and I’ll take that every day.”

Against Los Angles in Week 6, Bosa will be matched up mostly against a player on the other end of his career. Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth in June announced he opted against retirement to return for his 14th NFL season.

“He’s a savvy vet. ... Some of the nuances he uses are similar to Joe [Staley],” Bosa said of Whitworth. “He’s smart. He knows how to hold you up for that little extra second when the quarterback needs it. It’s the small things he does that I need to adapt to.”

Bosa said he will enter the game with the same street-fight mindset. He said he wants to assert his physicality and aggressiveness from the first snap of the game.

“It opens up my fastballs that I throw later in the game, so I think my approach is the same but there are a couple moves that you work on throughout the week where you see a weakness and you try to exploit it,” he said.

[RELATED: Baker chirps Bosa for waiting two years for flag-plant troll]

One thing Bosa will be lacking this week is the added motivation from a personal grudge against Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

“I’ll be fine,” Bosa said.

Bosa was asked if Goff has done anything to anger him.

“Not yet,” he replied.

49ers fans loudly, proudly take over LA Coliseum during win over Rams

49ers fans loudly, proudly take over LA Coliseum during win over Rams

Did the 49ers and Rams play in Santa Clara or Los Angeles on Sunday?

It was hard to tell, based on how loud 49ers fans were at LA Memorial Coliseum.

The Faithful flocked to sunny southern California for the NFC West showdown, and they made their presence known during San Francisco's 20-7 win over the defending conference champs. So much so that they caught many 49ers players' attention.

After the game, a few players took to social media to thank 49ers fans for taking over the Rams' home.

Even 49ers general manager John Lynch had to acknowledge the atmosphere the fans created in LA.

49ers fans have good reason to be hyped. Their team is 5-0 for the first time since 1990, and is one of two remaining undefeated teams in the NFL (Patriots).

The 49ers were expected to be better than they were last year, but no one could have predicted a start to the season like this.

[RELATED: Grading the 49ers in their road win over Rams]

Now, as NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco writes, it's reasonable to believe the 49ers are among the NFL's elite teams.

The next task for 49ers fans is to take over FedEx Field in Landover, Md., next Sunday.

Fantasy football waiver wire: Four non-QBs you should target in Week 7


Fantasy football waiver wire: Four non-QBs you should target in Week 7

We're almost at the halfway point of the fantasy football season.

Week 6 has come and gone (well, all but Packers-Lions on Monday night), and the pressure increases with each additional week that passes. You only have so much time to make up however much ground in your league's standings.

The Browns, Steelers, Buccaneers and Panthers all are on byes in Week 7, meaning several fantasy studs will be unusable. With that in mind, here are four non-quarterbacks to consider for waiver claims Tuesday morning, all of whom could play a major role down the backstretch of the fantasy season and are owned in fewer than 15 percent of Yahoo and ESPN fantasy leagues.

Mark Walton, Miami Dolphins RB

3 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 1 percent owned in ESPN

The Dolphins are terrible, make no mistake. They have the third-worst defensive DVOA after five games of any NFL team dating to 1986, and they might be even worse on the offensive side of the ball. Of the other 31 NFL teams, the Jets are the only one that hasn't scored more than twice as many as Miami's 42 points on the season.

Still, though, they're an NFL team (barely) and they have (some) NFL athletes. They came a two-point conversion away from earning their first win of the season Sunday, and running back Mark Walton was a big reason why.

Walton got the start against Washington, and both his six carries and 32 rushing yards ranked second on the team behind Kenyan Drake. Walton also was very active in the passing game, catching five of his six targets for 43 receiving yards.

There aren't many usable fantasy players on the Dolphins, but Walton should get more opportunities as the season wears on.

Benny Snell Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers RB

2 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 2 percent owned in ESPN

Snell would be the top waiver pickup if the Steelers weren't heading into their bye week.

A fourth-round draft pick in 2019, Snell had a breakthrough performance in Pittsburgh's surprise win over the Chargers on Sunday night, in which he rushed 17 times for 75 yards and caught one pass for another 14 yards.

Snell was more involved later in the game when James Connor was sidelined with a quad injury at the end of the third quarter. With Jaylen Samuels already ruled out for multiple weeks, Snell would be in line for a major role next week -- if Pittsburgh had a game.

Of course, the Steelers face the lowly Dolphins following the bye, so Snell potentially could be a great start that week, depending on Connor and Samuels' health.

Jacobi Meyers, New England Patriots WR

1 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 1 percent owned in ESPN

At this rate, the only thing that might stop the Patriots is their health.

[RELATED: Why it's time to recognize 5-0 49ers as an elite NFL team]

Phillip Dorsett missed the Week 6 win over the Giants with a hamstring injury, and fellow wide receiver Josh Gordon left it with a knee injury and did not return. Jacobi Myers came on in his place, and the undrafted rookie displayed a good connection with quarterback Tom Brady, catching all four of his targets for 54 yards.

If Gordon and/or Dorsett misses Week 7, Meyers likely would be involved in every three-receiver set, and possible every two-wide set. That's someone you want on your fantasy squad.

Darren Fells, Houston Texans TE

3 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, 2 percent owned in ESPN

Chances are, your tight end has had a worse two weeks than Darren Fells.

After catching both of his targets for touchdowns against the Falcons in Week 5, Fells was more involved in the Texans' offense in Week 6, even if he didn't find the end zone. Fells caught six of his seven targets for 69 yards in Sunday's win over the Chiefs, a very respectable effort regardless of your scoring system, given his position.

With Will Dissly leaving the Seahawks' Week 6 game with a non-contact leg injury, the already-shallow usable tight end pool has become even more so. Fells isn't going to put up big numbers every week, but at this point, he's proven to be a better bet than most other widely available options.