49ers' Nick Bosa is Defensive Player of Year candidate in DeMeco Ryans' eyes

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Ryans: Bosa's game-changing play makes him clear DPOY leader originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA — Nick Bosa should be named Defensive Player of the Year as far as 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans is concerned.

The star pass rusher already was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November for his three quarterback sack total and 19 total pressures (five hits, 11 hurries).

In the club’s Week 13 win over the Miami Dolphins, Bosa matched his November sack total in a single game, totaling seven total pressures including three sacks, two hits, and two hurries. Bosa was subsequently named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

“I think he definitely is playing his best football,” Ryans told reporters on Thursday. “You talk about someone who can change the game and affect it in a way,  Bosa does it, and to me, he’s hands down the best in the league. You talk about Defensive Player of the Year type candidate — if it isn’t Bosa I don’t know who else it should be.”

There is no doubt that the 49ers' defense plays better when Bosa is on the field. Not only are his stats remarkable, but his ability to draw attention away from other members of the defense allows others to take advantage. 
“He’s put our defense in the position we are in and we’re not where we are if it’s not with Bosa,” Ryans added. "How he changes the game, how he affects the quarterback how he speeds up the quarterback’s timing and he’s still able to get as many sacks as he has.

“He’s able to get to the quarterback, put him down and force the ball for the scoop and score. There’s so many game-changing plays that Bosa has made."

Bosa also has had great timing with his game-changing plays. Near the end of the 49ers' Week 11 win over the New Orleans Saints, quarterback Andy Dalton and his offense were attempting to convert a 4th-and-four situation. Bosa broke into the backfield and got to Dalton for a sack, a loss of seven yards and a turnover on downs.

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Near the end of the 49ers' win over the Dolphins, Bosa’s strip-sack fumble was returned by linebacker Dre Greenlaw for a scoop-and-score that slammed the door on Miami’s comeback attempt.

“You can’t speak enough about Bosa and how he affects the defense and how he changes the game,” Ryans said. “If you want to play great defense you have to have a great edge rusher and that’s what we have in Bosa. He’s the best doing it in the league and I’m so excited to have him on our side.”

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