PHILADELPHIA — If there is any way to tell if Nick Bosa is back to his old form, it’s how he is treated by opposing offenses.
The 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year did not get that title without the plays to back it up. Bosa is already wreaking havoc on quarterbacks with three sacks through two games of the 2021 NFL season, including two in the 49ers' 17-11 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
Often the only way that opposing lineman can keep Bosa from tackling their quarterback is by grabbing onto him in a way that should be called as a holding penalty. The star pass rusher, however, doesn’t let the lack of calls get to him as much as it gets to 49ers fans.
“It definitely happens pretty often,” Bosa said. “I’m just so focused on getting to the quarterback that I just think I’m getting blocked when I’m getting held.
“I’m just trying to get to the quarterback and that’s my main focus so I can’t even tell unless it’s a situation where they’re pulling on me when I won the rush already. I’m just focused. I rarely sell anything to the ref because I’m not thinking about it.”
Even coach Kyle Shanahan admits it is tough to see Bosa not get the calls he should, but if it’s any consolation, the focus of his defensive end is impressive. It’s more important for Bosa to get to the quarterback than to sell how the opposition is taking advantage of breaking the rules.
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It is also a sign of confidence by Bosa knowing that he will win more times than he will lose in a battle with an opposing player.
“Yeah, it’s always frustrating,” Shanahan said. “It’s tough. Sometimes it happens worse than others. I didn’t really get a chance to see it all today, how bad it was, but I’ll see when I’m on the plane.”
The 23-year-old pass rusher shared that he feels physically similar to how he felt in prior to suffering an ACL injury in Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season. After two weeks Bosa is on pace to record over 24 sacks this season which would make him a solid candidate for Comeback Player of the Year.