For Nick Bosa, Super Bowl about a ring -- and revenge

League: NFL

Posted on: 06 Feb, 2024 at 05:48 AM

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS -- Losing in the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs four seasons ago has never slipped the mind of San Francisco 49ers star Nick Bosa.

The defensive end said he documented his feelings and will break them out later this week as part of his preparation for the Sunday rematch.

"There are a couple recordings that I have," Bosa said at Monday's Super Bowl Opening Night. "I had some thoughts and I didn't want to forget them, so they're in my phone."

Bosa and the 49ers had a 10-point lead past the midway point of the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LIV before Kansas City scored 21 straight points to post a 31-20 victory at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Bosa scored one sack of Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes in that game and is eager for more.

"What stands out is very thin margins," said Bosa, referring to Mahomes' quick release and escape ability. "Very grateful for the opportunity against the same team. We have to make it count this time."

Bosa and the 49ers figure to bring pressure with the Kansas City offense sometimes having issues against physical units.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid hasn't forgotten the struggles of dealing with Bosa and the rest of San Francisco's front seven four years ago.

"There were some running lanes early. They closed those up," Reid said of the previous Super Bowl. "Their front -- it starts with them. They're really good, their front four. And then two of the most athletic linebackers in the league (in Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw)."

Yet even with the 49ers' four sacks in the game, Mahomes still made the San Francisco defense pay.

"There's a few plays in the Super Bowl we look back at that were very big plays where he made plays with his legs," Bosa said.

Bosa had 10.5 sacks this season after needing time to find his stride after a long holdout.

He agreed to a five-year, $170 million contract as the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history shortly before the season started.

"It's definitely a weight off your back getting your second deal done and just having that out of the equation," Bosa said. "It was a stressful time. I'm glad it's over with."

One season earlier, Bosa had a league-best 18.5 sacks and won NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. He has 53.5 sacks in 68 regular-season games.

Bosa has 10 sacks in 11 postseason contests, including two in the NFC Championship Game last month when the 49ers rallied from a 17-point deficit to claim a 34-31 victory over Detroit.

Bosa isn't the only key San Francisco defender looking to close the door on past demons.

Warner repeatedly replays the Super Bowl LIV loss in his mind. He intercepted a Mahomes pass in that game, but the fourth-quarter collapse is what's at the forefront of his thoughts.

"The biggest thing I take away from that game is the game is never over until that clock hits triple zeros," Warner said. "That's the biggest takeaway.

"I remember guys on the sidelines in that fourth quarter real happy and excited about possibly becoming Super Bowl champions and things flipped on a dime real quick. (Kansas City) scoring 21 unanswered in about six minutes.

"That scar remains with me to this day."

--Field Level Media