Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Bosa still impacting games even if stats don’t show it, says 49ers’ Robert Saleh

Nov 21, 2019 at 3:05 PM--

Defensive end Nick Bosa racked up all seven of his sacks in his first seven games. Since then, he hasn't brought down an opposing quarterback. Still, the San Francisco 49ers rookie leads NFC defenders in 2020 Pro Bowl voting.

The statistics may make it seem as though Bosa has been held in check over the last three games, since his three-sack performance during Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers, but that isn't necessarily the case.

Robert Saleh, the 49ers' defensive coordinator, says the film shows that Bosa is still impacting games, even if his statistics don't reflect that over the last few weeks, and it has been good for the defense as a whole.

"I think Nick's doing a great job," Saleh told reporters on Thursday. "Sometimes stats won't show up for him, but you can tell that teams are going out of their way to make sure that his stats don't show up, which means he's affecting the game, even though statistically, it may not be showing up.

"Teams have deliberately gone out of their way to try to take him out of the game, and it's given opportunities for other guys, and that's where other people have to step up. It's a credit to him and what he's been putting on tape, and now, for him, he's got to figure out how to defeat that because the great ones, it doesn't matter what teams do, the great ones will still show up time and time again, which he has."

Bosa remains one of the best pass rushers in the league. His Pro Football Focus pass-rushing productivity grade ranks second in the NFL, behind just linebacker Jamie Collins of the New England Patriots. Although, that grade drops significantly (11.4 to 8.1) when you only look at the past three games.

Facing two athletic and mobile quarterbacks since Week 9 (Kyler Murray twice, Russel Wilson once) may have also contributed to that drop.

"The sack numbers aside, not worried about that," Saleh continued. "Those are kind of out of your control with regards to quarterbacks getting rid of it, but he's doing a good job. His run-game stuff has been fantastic. He's still putting pressure on the quarterback at a very high rate, winning one-on-ones. So stay the course.

"He's about to hit the grind of the season. Rookies, going into the second half of the season, is always a grind, so he's got to trigger mentally and keep rolling."

The 9-1 49ers are preparing to host the 8-2 Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

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