Why Bosa expects 49ers' defense to be No. 1 this season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers' defense was one of the best at sacking the quarterback during the 2021 NFL season, led by edge rusher Nick Bosa and his 15.5 sacks. Last season, however, was a struggle for San Francisco on the pass-defending side.
While the pass rush racked up 55 sacks last year, the 49ers' pass defense allowed quarterbacks to complete 68.3 percent of their passes. Furthermore, San Francisco was at the bottom of the pack in interceptions (9) and pass deflections (55).
Nonetheless, speaking with KNBR's "Papa & Lund" on Tuesday, Bosa is ready to put any struggles on defense from 2021 behind them. The 49ers edge rusher revealed he has high expectations for the group heading into the 2022 NFL season.
"I think our goal is always number one defense, and I think this year, more than any year before, we have top-tier players at each level," Bosa said.
"So I think our coverage has been better than it's been. We have three healthy linebackers who I'd put in the top ten of any linebackers in the league, to be honest with you. And then, obviously, it starts with the D-line. So if we keep everybody nice and fresh and healthy and keep stacking days, then watch out."
Whether the 49ers' defense is one of the best in the NFL falls on the shoulders of Bosa, who had a career-high in sacks last season. Now that his offseason wasn't hindered by the ACL injury that ended his 2020 campaign, the 24-year-old could be poised to have his best season yet.
However, Bosa isn't looking too far down the road and intends to lean on a lesson that was learned while recovering from his knee injury.
"I don't like to really look down the road as much. Even though it's hard not to in the NFL, it's so exciting about what's to come," Bosa said.
"But kind of the motto that I tried to stick to when I was rehabbing is one day at a time. And even one moment at a time because if you start looking down the road, that's when you kind of get anxious."
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The 49ers, along with Bosa, expect their defense can improve on their performance last season beginning Week 1 when San Francisco travels to Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. PT.