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PFT’s NFL 2022 defensive player of the year: Nick Bosa

Mike Florio and Charean Williams explore how the Seahawks could attempt to ruin the 49ers’ postseason dreams after what’s been a strong year.

Defensive end Nick Bosa finished the season with the most sacks in the NFL, and the 49ers finished with the No. 1 defense in the NFL. That made the selection of Bosa as PFT’s pick for defensive player of the year an easy one.

Bosa didn’t get a chance to finish Sunday’s game against the Cardinals as the 49ers sat him and several other starters after getting a big lead. But he still finished with 18.5 sacks, 2.5 more than anyone else in the NFL.

Bosa and coach Kyle Shanahan talked earlier in the week, and they were scoreboard watching Haason Reddick and Myles Garrett to make sure neither had a chance to surpass Bosa on the final day.

Bosa, though, finished one sack shy of the franchise record of 19.5 set by Aldon Smith in 2012.

“We’ve got a lot more important things to do, so I’m just happy I got [the 2022 sack title],” Bosa said after the game. “I think we’re the No. 1 defense. . . . That’s another big one we wanted too, so it’s all good.”

The 49ers allowed 300.6 yards per game this season, barely topping the 301.5 yards per game the Eagles allowed.

Several other defensive players deserve honorable mention for outstanding seasons:

Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons finished with 13.5 sacks for the Cowboys; Garrett, the Browns defensive end, and Reddick, the Eagles outside linebacker, tied for second-most sacks in the league with both getting 16; and Raiders edge rusher Maxx Crosby had 12.5 sacks.