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Nick Bosa confident ahead of 49ers-Eagles matchup, surprised by Chase Young’s quick impact

Nov 28, 2023 at 12:19 PM--

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There was significant offseason banter between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles following the NFC Championship Game. While the Eagles came out on top, the 49ers felt they couldn't showcase their true capabilities due to quarterback Brock Purdy's early-game UCL injury in his throwing arm.

The two teams have been on a Week 13 collision course throughout the season, with the possibility of meeting again in the postseason. Sunday's highly anticipated game will showcase two red-hot teams, offering the 49ers a chance to demonstrate what might have been.

"I ain't going to keep going on about what could've happened and what would've happened, but yeah, it would've definitely been a different outcome," remarked 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel during the offseason. "... We lost because we played with 10 people."

The 49ers downplaying the Eagles' victory didn't sit well in Philadelphia's locker room.

"Talk is cheap," declared Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick this week. "You know, they get to come back in The Linc (Lincoln Financial Field). It was a lot of boo hoos last year, a lot of crying, a lot of what if, a lot of this, a lot of that. They get a chance to come back in here, line that s--t up, and prove it again."

While 49ers players downplay the revenge factor of this weekend's matchup, emphasizing it's just another game, they acknowledge the added significance of facing the top-seeded Eagles in Philadelphia.

"I'm not much of a trash talker myself, but I think it's a huge game, obviously, with the seeding and all that," defensive end Nick Bosa said Tuesday morning on KNBR's "Murph and Mac" show. "We're different teams this year. We're at different spots and in different conditions than we were when we played last year."

The 49ers have won three consecutive games since last month's three-game losing streak. The defense has been playing some dominant football while the offense has capitalized on its plethora of weapons. Meanwhile, the Eagles boast a record of 10-1, winning five straight since their lone loss of the season.

"I think they're really good, and they've found ways to win this year," Bosa continued. "So it's just going to be another game, another game where we have to execute. And I'm extremely confident this go-around. I was confident last year, but some things early in the game definitely hurt us. But we're just excited for another opportunity."

Regarding his teammates' offseason comments, Bosa said, "I can't say that that bothered me very much or made me feel any certain way. But we're excited for an [opportunity]. I think we're playing really good ball, and so are they. But yeah, I really don't have much else to say on that."

Bosa impressed with Chase Young's impact

Bosa knew his former Ohio State teammate, Chase Young, was a skilled football player. However, the defensive end admitted surprise at how quickly the new pass rusher has impacted the 49ers' defense.

When asked if Young has contributed to the defense's recent improvement, Bosa responded, "I think that's definitely a factor. Definitely a big factor. He's extremely talented. He's actually farther along than I even thought since I've seen him in college. I think he's better than I even thought at the moment."

Bosa added, "Just watching him on tape, I think he could be like one of the top elite pass rushers in the league. And he's starting to get the hang of the scheme. ... [H]e's got a natural feel for the game. But if you could teach [someone like that] the scheme—and he's got strength and length and all that stuff—if you could teach them the scheme, those attributes that look good end up being extremely hard to block on the field."

Bosa noted that Young isn't the only one who has impressed during the team's winning streak. The entire defensive front has played at an elite level, which bodes well for Sunday and the remainder of the season. The 49ers defense managed 10 sacks and 62 pressures during their three-game losing streak. That statistic has escalated to 22 sacks and 79 pressures in the three games since.

"It's exactly what we expected," Bosa said. "Obviously, the beginning of the year, the stats weren't going, but we were just trying to stay the course, keep our head in it, and we're starting to get the benefits of it."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Bosa below.

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