Joey Bosa

Raiders set for challenge of facing Chargers' Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram

Raiders set for challenge of facing Chargers' Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram

ALAMEDA – Philip Rivers is the unquestioned face of a Chargers franchise long known for a prolific air attack. The veteran quarterback has been slinging it all over the Raiders for years, with an excellent 9-4 record in Oakland.

A bigger issue may present itself on the other side of the ball Thursday night at the Coliseum. The Raiders must contend with premier Chargers edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, a dominant pairing adept a pressuring the quarterback.

Bosa in particular is on a tear, with nine sacks on the season and five in his last three games.

Both guys keep head coach and offensive play-caller Jon Gruden up at night trying to prevent these two from wrecking Thursday night’s Week 10 AFC West clash.

“They’re two of the best,” Gruden said. “They’re dynamic players. The effort level that they have is special. They have a range of skills. Ingram is all over the place. Someone needs to do a statistical chart on this guy, how many miles he runs per game. He’s the middle linebacker on your goal-line defense. I mean he’s a rover on third down. He walks around, I don’t know where the hell he is. He’s going to play over the guard, over the edge. He’s sideline-to-sideline. He runs like a linebacker; he’s got defensive end prototype size. And Bosa, he’s a problem. He’s just a really good pass rusher. He’s got tremendous hand usage, get-off. He’s got an arsenal of moves and it’s hard to find him. He moves around, so we’ll have our hands full with them.”

The Raiders will come armed and ready. Their offensive line has been excellent this season, even with presumptive starters playing just 10 snaps together all season. Gabe Jackson, Rodney Hudson and Trent Brown all have battled injury, with the latter two questionable for Thursday night.

Derek Carr’s pocket has remained sparkly clean, allowing just nine sacks and six other quarterback hits.

The Raiders have stared down top pass rushers and won, even when they come in pairs.

“It’s important to get everyone on the same page,” left tackle Kolton Miller said. “You don’t want confusion, so you really have to stay locked in and work as a unit.”

Bosa and Ingram kept Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at bay with quick penetration and completely disrupted Green Bay's game plan. Bosa will straight come after you, while Ingram moves around the formation more while finding ways to create havoc.

“I mean they’re two of the better pass rushers in the game and when they’re both healthy and on the field at the same time, you can’t chip both sides unless you’re in max protection all day,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “So that helps. They help each other that way but then you put them on the same side. You know we do that just for matchup reasons and just to see how teams are going to adjust and make another move, but we just try to look for the best matchups.”

[RELATED: Renfrow's game translating to NFL with clutch play]

The Raiders believe they can handle Bosa and Ingram lined up on the same side, with solid blocking tight ends to help and guards who can handle speed.

“Melvin is a dynamic guy who will do a spin move on the guards, and can come from a bunch of directions,” Miller said. “Again, it’s about communication and proper execution of the game plan. That’s our focus heading into this one.”

49ers' Nick Bosa, brother Joey named NFC, AFC Defensive Players of the Week

49ers' Nick Bosa, brother Joey named NFC, AFC Defensive Players of the Week

The Bosa brothers were the best defensive players in their respective conferences in Week 8 of the NFL season.

Nick Bosa, 22, the 49ers’ rookie defensive end, was selected as the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, while older brother Joey, 24, was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Nick Bosa registered three sacks, along with a 46-yard interception return, in the 49ers’ 51-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers to win the NFC award for the second time this season. Bosa leads the 49ers with seven sacks in seven games.

“I don’t know if anyone expects it from a rookie to be like that,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said of the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

“The challenge for him is always going to come back to consistency. Not just consistency of what he’s been doing, but consistency in terms of finding ways to be better so he can continually improve and keep linemen off kilter with regards to how they are going to approach him from game-to-game. He’s been doing a great job.”

Nick Bosa afterward credited defensive tackles DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead for collapsing the pocket and making his job easier.

“Whenever your moves are working really good, it’s just a good feeling,” he said. “Once you get a sack, really it just lets you calm down. Two of those sacks could have been Buckner’s easily. We’ve kind of gone back and forth giving each other sacks this year, so I’m lucky to have two interior guys who close the pocket so well.”

Nick Bosa also won the award in Week 5 when he had two sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery against Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield.

On Sunday, Joey Bosa had seven tackles, two sacks and four tackles for losses in the Los Angeles Chargers’ 17-16 victory over the Chicago Bears. Joey Bosa, a fourth-year player, has seven sacks in eight games. The Chargers selected Joey Bosa with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Nick and Joey Bosa combined for five sacks on the day to set the NFL record for most sacks recorded by brothers in a day on which each earned at least one sack. The previous record was four, T.J. and J.J. Watt (Week 5, 2018) and Jimmy and Toby Williams (Week 2, 1985).

[RELATED: Simms explains what makes 49ers rookie Nick Bosa so special]

Nick Bosa was able to watch some of his brother’s game as he was going through a warmup routine in the pool at Levi’s Stadium with nose tackle D.J. Jones approximately 90 minutes before the 49ers kicked off.

“He was cheering on his brother, man,” Jones said. “It was pretty cool to see. He saw his brother get a sack. He saw his brother get a TFL (tackle for loss), and he was cheering him on. Then, he goes out there and does what he did (Sunday).”

49ers' Nick Bosa soaks in brother's success before dominating Panthers

49ers' Nick Bosa soaks in brother's success before dominating Panthers

SANTA CLARA – Ninety minutes before kickoff Sunday, 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa showed more emotion than he would all day.

Bosa was in the team’s workout pool adjacent to the 49ers' locker room warming up for the key NFC matchup against the Carolina Panthers. As Bosa and defensive tackle D.J. Jones went through a workout in water, Bosa was also soaking in the Los Angeles Chargers-Chicago Bears game on TV.

Bosa’s older brother, Joey, plays of the Chargers. He had quite a game for himself as Nick watched.

“He was cheering on his brother, man,” Jones said. “It was pretty cool to see. He saw his brother get a sack. He saw his brother get a TFL (tackle for loss), and he was cheering him on. Then, he goes out there and does what he did today.

“Just being able to watch all that unfold in a day, it was amazing.”

Nick Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft, had his most dominant game since his days as a prep star at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bosa registered three sacks and a 46-yard interception return in the 49ers’ 51-13 thrashing of the Panthers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

Earlier in the day, Joey Bosa registered two sacks and four tackles for losses in the Chargers’ 17-16 victory over the Chicago Bears. The Bosas became the first brothers to record multiple sacks on the same day since Toby and Jimmy Williams in Week 2 of the 1985 season, according to the NFL.

After the 49ers' surprisingly easy victory, Nick Bosa stood in front of the media and answered questions in his typical monotone delivery. The 49ers are 7-0 after another impressive defensive showing, but you could not tell by the tone of Bosa’s voice.

“It’s just who I am,” Bosa said. “Um, I’m just happy. I’m super-happy, don’t get me wrong.”

The 49ers are certainly happy the Arizona Cardinals selected quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick. The 49ers had no need for a quarterback with the top selection, so it guaranteed that general manager John Lynch would select the No. 1 player on the 49ers’ draft board.

Bosa was the easy selection at No. 2 overall.

“There’s nothing that he can’t do right now,” 49ers veteran defensive end Dee Ford said. “He has a counter move. He has a power move. I actually have to work on my power when I came into the league. He has that. He has the edge. He can beat you inside. He’s a three-way rusher, and that’s what makes you elite. And if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll go down as one of the best.”

Bosa now leads the 49ers with seven sacks in seven games. But his most impressive play might have been his leaping interception of Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen at the line of scrimmage. Bosa returned the interception to the Panthers’ 9-yard line.

“It was pretty damn impressive,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I’m sure when I watch the tape, it’ll look even better. The play that he made on the interception was one of the more impressive plays that I’ve seen from a D-Lineman.

“Thought he should have scored, but it’s always nice when they don’t and they let the offense score, too. So, it was all right.”

Bosa, who was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Cleveland, during which he registered two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He is appears to be in line for another honor this week. His brother might win the honor in the AFC.

Joey Bosa was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016. Nick Bosa might be following in his brother's footsteps. He has stepped in as a rookie and made it look easy.

Said 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander, “I just think he was born like that.”

“Nick’s been ballin’. He’s an awesome player,” said defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who picked up two sacks of his own as part of the 49ers’ seven-sack performance. “We knew he was super-talented when he got here, but it’s all falling into place for him. Now he has to keep working hard and keep stacking them.”

[RELATED: Irvin claims 49ers aren't that good]

Bosa said he got into a zone as a pass-rusher and rode the defensive momentum from the entire unit. He said his job is made easier because Armstead and DeForest Buckner are such forces on the interior.

“Whenever your moves are working really good, it’s just a good feeling,” he said. “And once you get a sack early, it just allows you to calm down. Two of those sacks could’ve been Buckner’s, easily. We’ve gone back and forth giving each other sacks this year. I’m just lucky to have to interior guys who close the pocket so well.”