SANTA CLARA — 49ers rookie Nick Bosa already has two NFC defensive player of the week awards and October’s defensive player of the month honor to his name. Now, his sights are set on stopping Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in Week 13.
“Could be better, definitely,” Bosa said Friday. “We have a pretty good plan this week, though. If you’re assigned to him, you want to be aggressive. It’s just a matter of everyone doing their assignment.”
The Ravens have scored an NFL-leading 35.1 points per game this season, rushing for nearly 55 more yards per game (210.5) than the 49ers, who are the next closest team (145.6). Jackson leads Baltimore with 876 rushing yards, while running back Mark Ingram is not too far behind with 778. The 22-year-old Jackson also has been extremely effective through the air, completing 66.9 percent of his passes and tying Wilson for the league lead in passing touchdowns (24).
Still, Bosa and the 49ers know the Ravens’ bread and butter is running the ball.
“Their go-to runs are things that we’ve seen,” Bosa said. “Just the ability of him to pull it is what we have to account for. And obviously on third downs just him breaking the pocket and running.”
Facing Wilson and Murray can only prepare the 49ers so much for Jackson. The Ravens offense has an array of options available at their disposal because of his unmatched athleticism. Baltimore leads the league with over 433 yards per game.
“He actually runs like a running back,” Bosa said. “He’s not trying to slide. He’s not trying to get just a few yards. He’s trying to break it every time. We got to hit him. We got to get him down.”
Sunday will be Bosa’s 12th NFL game, but he has plenty of experience playing against dual-threat quarterbacks in high school and college. The 49ers rookie believes Jackson is in a different class.
“It reminds me of high school, honestly,” Bosa said. “Some of the teams I played, they’d do a triple option. They’d have their best athlete at running back, and down in South Florida, there’s a lot of really good athletes, and they remind me of Lamar. He’s just the best of all of them. So, that’s why he’s doing what he’s doing.”
The 49ers won’t be favored heading into Sunday, and San Francisco has not been a betting underdog this season. When Bosa was asked if he thought it was disrespectful, he answered succinctly.
“I don’t care,” he said.
What 49ers’ Nick Bosa sees as key to stopping Ravens QB Lamar Jackson originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area