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Nick Bosa submits a masterpiece on Monday night towards his DPOY candidacy

The 49ers’ best player started his official campaign for Defensive Player of the Year on Monday night.

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Maybe it’s his calm demeanor on and off the field, but Nick Bosa doesn’t often get mentioned with the best pass-rushers in the NFL (Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt, or Micah Parsons).

Yet on Monday night, with over 30 million people probably tuned into Rams-49ers, Nick Bosa put together a historic pass-rushing performance that will kick start his defensive player of the year campaign.

The 49ers sacked Matthew Stafford eight times while pressuring him on 35 dropbacks, putting together an eye-opening game for the larger audience.

The fans in the greater Bay Area knew what they had in No. 97 — an absolute ass-kicker who was two years removed from an ACL surgery and coming off of a great season. Historic stuff was on deck for Bosa, and that’s exactly what he did on Monday night.

Nick Bosa tallied 14 pressures on Stafford while sacking him twice, hitting him another three times, and hurrying him nine times. Those 14 pressures are the most by a single defender in the last seven years. But, of course, Aaron Donald was the last one to do it, and he was standing on the other sideline last night.

The 49ers’ premier pass rusher now leads the NFL in the following categories:

  • Sacks
  • Pressures
  • Quarterback Hits
  • Pass-Rush Win Rate
  • PFF’s Pass-Rushing Productivity
  • Pressure Percentage

He’s been a dominant, dominant force coming off the edge for the 49ers. Not only has he been a menace to opposing quarterbacks, but he’s also been a beast against the run, tallying six run stops — which ranks 10th among all edge defenders.

The Defensive Player of the Year conversation hasn’t involved Nick Bosa in years past — it’s typically been between Garrett and Watt, but Bosa has thrown his hat into the ring four weeks into the 2022 season.

For my money, he’s the early leader in the clubhouse. He’s playing like the best pass-rusher on this Earth while putting together a historical performance versus the Rams when his team was 1-2 and needed a win against a division rival on primetime.

Awards like these are usually narrative-based and need a few historic, primetime performances along the way, and I think Bosa submitted a masterpiece to DPOY voters on Monday night.