Nick Bosa knows better than anyone that sacks aren't the only thing that matters for a defensive end.
The 49ers' star pass rusher, on paper, got off to a slow start to begin the 2023 NFL season, but consistently was one of the league's highest-rated players despite the lack of quarterback sacks.
Bosa joined KNBR 680's "Murph & Mac" on Tuesday, where he was asked about his perceived slow start to the season and if he was in peak football shape after missing all of training camp due to a contract holdout and wishes he had recorded a few additional sacks to silence the outside speculation.
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"I think I was pretty close," Bosa said. "I mean, Game 1 no, I wouldn't say. But after that, I think my tape against the [Los Angeles] Rams was pretty darn good. I definitely wish some of those earlier games I could have snuck a sack in a few times because it would shut people up.
"Sacks are not ..., especially when you play on a defense that really relies on you doing your job, you can't really freelance. If you want to be one of the best defenses in the league you have to execute your job and I think we do that here really unselfishly. So it's not all about the stats and we were winning games early and we're winning games now so I was getting better throughout the year and I'm still getting better overall throughout the year. I think that's continued progression."
After recording a career-high 18.5 sacks as the 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Bosa recorded just 2.5 sacks through San Francisco's first seven games this season. However, Bosa has recorded 5.5 sacks in his last four games and appears to have silenced any remaining critics.
Bosa now leads the 49ers in sacks (8) this season and will look to increase his total in the marquee matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.