3. Joey Bosa
Joey Bosa comes in at number three on the list. In spite of missing some games due to injuries and the concussion protocol, he was still the defensive MVP of the team. It was just night and day when Bosa was on the field.
Whenever he played, the Chargers got consistent quarterback pressure and wreaked havoc in the backfield. Whenever he didn’t, the team was swamped trying to get home with Melvin Ingram, Jerry Tillery, or Isaac Rochell.
Bosa averaged 5 pressures per game, totaling 61 over his 12 game season. He had 22 quarterback hits, up from 17 in 2019. On 3rd down, Bosa won his pass rush matchup 30% of the time, second in the league to only Aaron Donald. He was dominant in the most important category for pass rushers as well:
Best pass-rush win rate in 2020:1. Aaron Donald – 25.1%2. Joey Bosa – 24.9%3. T.J. Watt – 23.6%4. Chris Jones – 22.1% pic.twitter.com/MYC6XCVzn3
— PFF (@PFF) January 5, 2021
Staying on the field will be important for Bosa in 2021, but he proved he was worth the contract extension he received and more from his play on the field. The league’s concussion protocol isn’t something he can necessarily control either.
While Bosa was obviously an amazing defender before 2020, it was the first year in his career where I saw him consistently take over games.
The Bills game is the most prominent example comes to mind where he had 3 sacks, seven pressures, two hits, and five tackles, but there were others as well. His efforts against New Orleans, Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Cincinnati were out of this world good.
Jerry Tillery had three sacks and 35 pressures in 16 games. Bosa had three sacks and 27 pressures in his final six games of 2020. There was no other Chargers defender that even came close to matching half of Bosa’s 2020 production. Bosa carried the defensive line on his back when he played, especially considering Ingram’s decline from previous seasons.