At his pace, he could shatter the NFL record of 22.5 by hitting 25.5 in a 17-game schedule. And he’s got a chance to get his numbers up against an old rival.
The Carolina Panthers are next and with them is a familiar nemesis of Bosa: The $32 million quarterback Carolina added in Baker Mayfield. The same Mayfield who got on the bad side of Bosa during their college years before Bosa exacted revenge in 2019. And has Bosa heard from Mayfield on the eve of their third meeting on the field set for Sunday, October 9?
“No,” Bosa said via Matt Barrows of The Athletic, while Bosa was also breaking into a smile. “I don’t think we’ve ever been in touch.”
Regardless, Mayfield and Bosa will have lots of watchful eyes in Charlotte.
How it All Began
September 9, 2017: The date of an upset of a top 3 program and the launching of a feud.
The Oklahoma Sooners, then entering the game No. 5 overall and being led by a former walk-on in Mayfield, stormed into Bosa’s home venue of Columbus, Ohio and rolled to the 31-16 upset of Bosa’s Ohio State Buckeyes.
Mayfield not only went 27-of-35 for 386 yards, but ended up rattling the fan base of Buckeyes nation, and Bosa himself, with this celebration after the game:
Bosa waited two years to clap back.
Bosa Raised Game Another Notch & Reflected Back on 2019 Contest
Two years after the flag plant witnessed around the college football world, Bosa entered Levi’s Stadium remembering vividly that night with the Buckeyes.
And along came an increase in sack production…and retaliation. But this time with the 49ers.
Bosa not only collected four tackles and two stops behind the line of scrimmage, he snatched Mayfield for two sacks. But after sack No. 1, it was Bosa getting revenge.
Bosa reacted to the payback on Mayfield in the postgame of the 31-3 thrashing of Mayfield’s Browns.
“I don’t usually talk, but this game, he had it coming,” Bosa said during the locker room interview session. “But he didn’t say one word back. I was just screaming his name like, ‘Baker, Baker, Baker! You good? Come on, pick it up. We want a challenge.’”
Now, in the third meeting between both men, there are signs that indicate that Bosa can add to his sack totals against Mayfield.
Can Bosa Slip Past Panthers’ Protection With Ease?
Mayfield has been sacked 11 times — meaning the Panthers have allowed an average of 2.75 sacks of the new leader of the Carolina offense.
While The Athletic’s David Lombardi insists that the pass protection hasn’t been bad for the Panthers, he added “Baker Mayfield simply isn’t getting it done and his receivers have low catch rates.”
There’s also these stats Lombardi included in evaluating the former No. 1 overall pick:
The Panthers are yet to surrender less than two sacks in every game this season. In all likelihood, Bosa will draw his most matchups against first-rounder Ikem Ekwonu, who has allowed 10 pressures this season and surrendered two sacks in his NFL debut against Mayfield’s former team.
The signs are there that Bosa could expand his lead in the sacks department after this game while facing a familiar rival. But we’ll also see if there’s any more flag planting from one or the other.