Dieter Kurtenbach: The 49ers' new-look defense was already impressive. It's about to get even better.

Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News on

Published in Football

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Nick Bosa’s preseason-long holdout ended on a Wednesday. The following Sunday, he played more than half of the Niners’ defensive snaps against the Steelers.

One Sunday later, he played 79 percent of the Niners’ snaps. Four days after that, another 78 percent.

That’s a lot of snaps to play after coming in cold.

And while Bosa played well — one sack, seven tackles, with two for a loss — the soon-to-be 26-year-old defensive end said Wednesday that he underestimated the challenge of revving up the engine.

“Just getting thrown right into football, I was feeling it,” Bosa said. “I think my body is adapted to football now.”

That’s a scary thought if you’re Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Dobbs, who will come to the South Bay to play the Niners on Sunday.


In fact, it should scare anyone on the 49ers’ schedule and any team interested in playing in the NFC playoffs.

The 49ers’ defense has looked stout with a lesser version of Bosa coming off the edge of the Niners’ defensive line. The team ranks fourth in defensive DVOA so far this season and has the best ranking with Pro Football Focus.

What will it look like with No. 97 coming full-bore?

That’s what Bosa expects to do coming off the Niners’ mini-bye — a free weekend following a Thursday night game.


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