SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Nick Bosa is sincerely excited to see the 49ers’ fans in Thursday’s home opener. With no sacks through two games, he sounds even more pumped to see New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in attendance, particularly if he’s holding the ball in the pocket.
“It’s going to be pretty much the opposite of what we just did with Stafford,” Bosa said, referring to Sunday’s 30-23 win against the Los Angeles Rams’ quick-throwing Matthew Staford. “(Jones) definitely can hold it a little bit and we just have to keep him in the pocket.
“He’s going to try to get out any chance he gets. So we’ll just try to close in on him, be good in our rush lanes, and we could have a good day.”
Bosa could use a great day — or night, as kickoff is at 5:15 p.m. — to springboard his season, after missing training camp and the preseason before signing the NFL’s richest contract for a non-quarterback only two weeks ago.
Maybe he’ll deliver like he did three games into his rookie season, when he seized the “Monday Night Football” spotlight at home and posted two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery against the Cleveland Browns and nemesis Baker Mayfield.
“It’s going to come,” defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said of Bosa’s breakout potential, though not necessarily this game. “You saw the effort there (last Sunday) and you saw the push across the board with those guys. Stafford was getting the ball out so fast. It’s only a matter of time, a matter of time.”
Jones is taking 2.9 seconds to throw through the Giants’ two games, including a 40-0 loss to Dallas in which he got sacked seven times. He keyed their comeback from a 20-0 hole Sunday to defeat the host Arizona Cardinals 31-28. (In comparison, Stafford is averaging 2.65 seconds a throw, and the 49ers’ Brock Purdy is at 2.66 seconds.)
“I think there’s a stat: If you can keep (Jones’ completion rate) under 60 percent, he’s 0-9. So if we can pressure him a lot and keep his completion percentage down, we have a good chance.”
Jones actually is 1-14 when completing less than 60 percent of his passes, including a 2020 home loss to the 49ers (53.1 percent, two sacks) and a 2020 win at Cincinnati (59.3 percent). Bosa missed that game, having sustained a season-ending knee injury the previous week against the New York Jets.
What makes Jones especially dangerous is his rushing ability, whether he’s scrambling or keeping the ball on zone-read runs. The 49ers, with their aggressive pass rushers, have not fared well in recent seasons against mobile quarterbacks.
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