49ers rookie Nick Bosa is making the case for Defensive Player of the Year


So much to get to today—Belichick’s 300th, Brees’ comeback, Green Bay’s 7-1, Deshaun Watson’s play of the year, a Zebra-marred loss for the Bucs, the bizarre coaching stratagem of Matt Nagy, J.J. Watt’s sorrow, Joe Flacco is pissed, Browns keep Browning. In due time, all of it. Bosa may have thought he was coming to a good spot when the Niners picked him second overall last April, but now he knows how fortuitous it really was: He’s one of five first-round picks in the front four, and the rotation keeps the pressure up for four quarters. If any single element is most responsible for San Francisco’s stunning rise to the top of the NFC West, it’s the defensive front, which averages a sack on 12 percent of all pass plays.

I’d argue that Bosa’s been the most impactful edge player to enter the NFL since Julius Peppers in 2002. Since 2000, 18 edge players have been picked in the top five in the past 20 NFL drafts. Bosa’s seven sacks and one interception through seven games is exactly the stat line of Peppers—and only Von Miller (six sacks, no picks) is close. No other player picked in the top five had more than four sacks in his first seven games. Probably only Peppers was asked to do as much as Bosa early, playing all over the field. And Peppers or Miller weren’t the run player Bosa’s shown so far. Bosa is a complete player in a room full of defensive-line stalwarts.

“I came into a really good situation with the D-line we have,” Bosa said from California after the game. “I was a little starstruck when I first came in here; I’ve got a bunch of first-round picks I get to roll with, and you saw what we can do today when we get a lead and they’ve got to throw.”

“He’s got to be one of the best picks in the last 10 years,” said Sherman. “He plays like a 10-year vet, with such savviness and poise.”

One of Bosa’s sacks came when he was sent sprawling by a Panther tackle; he got up and dove at Kyle Allen and ankle-sacked him. The interception was the kind of play you’d see from a DeAndre Hopkins-type of athlete. Left tackle Dennis Daley lunged at Bosa’s knees, and Bosa went sprawling outside Daley to avoid it. And when he rose … well, let him tell it. “Early in the game, [Daley] cut me really bad. Obviously, I hate to get cut [have his knees dived at]. I played the cut to the outside, and I got up, and I looked in the quarterback’s eyes. I saw what he was going to do.”

Throw the quick pass in the flat to McCaffrey, Bosa meant.

“I jumped up, and the ball went right into my arms,” he said. “After that, it was just instincts.” He escaped two tackle tries by Allen over the next 46 yards, and one by D.J. Moore, before Moore leg-tackled him near the five-yard line. The speed, the escapability, the moves—Bosa could pass for Travis Kelce. Easy.

“Ever play running back in your life?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

“Wide receiver, tight end?”

“No,” he said. “Offensive guys aren’t taught to tackle. I was able to make a couple moves.”

The top of the NFC after eight weeks:

1: San Francisco, 7-0.
T-2: Green Bay and New Orleans, 7-1.
T-4: Seattle and Minnesota, 6-2.

The 49ers have four games against their pursuers in the last eight weeks of the season. Saints, Packers, two with Seattle. They play Green Bay at home Nov. 24, then at New Orleans two weeks later. We’ll know how good the Niners are by then. A three-week stretch against teams with a combined 19-4 record (Packers, Ravens, Saints) will be the toughest three-game stretch of their season, by far.

“Have you noticed how hard it looks down the road?” I asked Bosa.

“Nah,” he said. “I mean, we got a game in three days. My focus is on that.”

Arizona, Thursday night in the desert. Another quarterback to chase. Bosa versus Kyler Murray. Two cornerstone guys, born 11 weeks apart in 1997. It’s amazing. The Niners got famous starting 40 years ago with an offensive genius molding two Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Now they might be poised to go on another strong run, and this time the defensive front shall lead them. Fascinating times for a resuscitated franchise.

Read more of Peter King’s Football Morning in America here. 

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, NFL.com and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!