Niners' Nick Bosa Had Outstanding NFL Debut

Defensive end had a sack, six QB pressures and several run stops in his first professional game after missing all of the preseason with an ankle injury

As NFL debuts go, Nick Bosa’s was outstanding.

The No. 2 overall selection in the draft missed the entire preseason schedule because of an ankle sprain. The 49ers decided to take it slow with their defensive end to make certain he'd be ready for the regular season.

On Sunday, Bosa was cleared for takeoff and played a big role in San Francisco’s 31-17 victory over the Bucs in Tampa.

Bosa recorded his first NFL sack in the third quarter, bringing down Jameis Winston, and had six quarterback pressures and three quarterback hits.

The analytic website Pro Football Focus called Bosa’s play "dominating," and noted he had a pass-rush "win" on 28 percent of the snaps he played, an NFL high for Week 1.

"But Bosa wasn’t simply dominant in one facet," wrote Pro Football Focus. "His run defense was stellar, too, notching two tackles and a stop on just 11 snaps. Obviously a larger sample size is needed there, but nonetheless, it was quite the debut for Bosa."

Bosa played just over half of the 49ers’ 70 defensive snaps, and was particularly effective on inside rushes. The defensive front received immediate dividends from investments this offseason in Bosa and Dee Ford, the former Chiefs pass-rush star who now lines up opposite Bosa. Ford also had a sack.

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said Bosa had an impressive pro debut.

"He definitely had an effect on the game, which is what we were hoping for," Shanahan told the media. "He got into the backfield a lot. He got that one sack, which started with Dee Ford, running (Winston) to him. He had a number of times where he got free, which I thought was impressive. …

"I thought it was a good first game. Still a lot of areas to improve. Considering what he’s been going through the last few weeks, I’d consider it a success."

Bosa and the 1-0 49ers now will travel to Cincinnati to take on the 0-1 Bengals Sunday. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m.

Contact Us