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Bosa's Share of the Blame for the 49ers' Recent Struggles

His seven sacks are great, but each game he's doing small things that hurt the defense.
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Don't get me wrong -- Nick Bosa is a good player.

But the 49ers are a bad defense that's allowing 131.6 rushing yards and 25.2 points per game, and every starter shares blame for that, including Bosa. His seven sacks are great, but each game he's doing small things that hurt the defense.

Here are the small things Bosa did that hurt the 49ers against the Cardinals.

1. 1st and 10 at SF 38, 8:45 first quarter.

The Cardinals call a screen pass to Bosa's side. Zach Ertz blocks Bosa for a second, then slips the block to catch a screen pass. Elementary stuff. But Bosa never reacts. He simply keeps chasing Cardinals backup quarterback Colt McCoy, desperate to sack him. But McCoy easily flips the ball over Bosa's head to Ertz, who gains nine yards. Bosa never makes an attempt to chase the receiver. Selfish play.

2. 1st and 10 at SF 13, 6:13 first quarter.

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The Cardinals call a run to Bosa's side. They pull the left guard, who smacks Bosa in the face and knocks him backward. Bosa is supposed to set the edge and smack the guard and knock him backward, which would close the hole for the running back and shut down the play. But Bosa seems completely suprised by the pulling lineman, who moves Bosa out of the way to create a huge hole for James Conner, who scores a touchdown.

3. 2nd and 8 at SF 45, 13:44 third quarter.

The Cardinals call another screen to Bosa's side. This time, the oblivoius Bosa lets Conner slip right by him and again tries to sack McCoy, who tosses the ball over Bosa's head to Conner, who runs through the middle of the 49ers defense for a 45-yard touchdown. Bosa made the first mistake. He allowed this horrendous play to happen.

4. 1st and 10 at AZ 29, 11:52 third quarter.

The Cardinals call a zone read to Bosa's side. Bosa hesitates as he reads the play and tries to figure out who has the ball. Briefly, he follows McCoy, but he doesn't have it. He's not Kyler Murray. He's Colt Freaking McCoy, and he has handed off to Conner, who gains a cool 35 yards through the hole Bosa created. Had Bosa simply crashed down on the running back like he was supposed to, Fred Warner was behind him to tackle McCoy had McCoy kept the ball. Not a smart play by Bosa. 

He needs to step up his game. People are watching.