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DE Nick Bosa leads 49ers' dominant defense, spearheads NFC West title

San Francisco 49ers pass rusher Nick Bosa brings relentless ferocity between the whistles. Off the field, he's a man of few words.

Asked by Amazon Prime's Kaylee Hartung following Thursday night's 21-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks what goes through his mind when chasing a quarterback, Bosa offered a short and sweet response.

"Not much," he said after pausing to consider. "It's pretty much one thing, and that's run through the person in front of me."

Bosa ran through the Seahawks' offensive line repeatedly in the second half Thursday, as the Niners D once again stuffed an opponent. The Defensive Player of the Year candidate generated a sack, five QB hits and six pressures (five in the second half). His 15.5 sacks lead the NFL entering this weekend's action.

Bosa became the first 49ers player in franchise history to have 15-plus sacks in two career seasons (2021 and 2022) since 1982 when sacks were first officially tracked. Thursday marked his fourth consecutive game with a sack versus Seattle.

The edge rusher's response that he "runs through the person in front of me" epitomizes the entire Niners D. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans' defense blasts opponents at the point of attack, punishing anyone with the pigskin. Dre Greenlaw's game-changing forced fumble that led to a defensive score exemplifies the type of violence San Francisco plays with at all three levels.

During their seven-game win streak, the Niners have allowed fewer than 17 points in each contest. 

"I thought the defense was unbelievable...," Head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game. "They've been unbelievable all year and are continuing it."

San Francisco has demolished division opponents on the way to an NFC West title, allowing 10.6 points per game in division games, which would be the fewest since the 2014 Seahawks Legion of Boom (8.8 PPG allowed).

"Getting after the ball, that's just how we pride ourselves," linebacker Fred Warner said. "Not only in our room, but on the entire defense. I think that's what separates us, what makes us different, is the genuine want and need for everybody to get there and get there with a purpose. I think that's what makes us different."

Quarterback Brock Purdy's rise from third-string to starter is a great story, but the Niners' dominant D will carry the club in the postseason and provide Lombardi vibes.

"A big win tonight, to be able to clinch the division and just have a couple days, we can relax a little bit," Shanahan said. "But this isn't our final goal by any means. I'm very proud of our team and what we've accomplished throughout the year to get to this. Our goal is to get in the tournament and we accomplished that today. Now it's all trying to set that up to be in the best situation we can and hopefully get some of our guys back in the process."

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