49ers Nick Bosa Calls Raiders Josh Jacobs ‘Best Running Back’ He’s Ever Faced

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San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, the likely NFL Defensive Player of the Year, praised Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs with the highest of compliments.

Bosa leads the NFL in sacks with 17.5 and anchors one of the NFL’s best defenses. When he talks about football, people listen. And here’s what he said about Jacobs, according to The Athletic.

“Best running back I’ve played against in my career … That dude’s a beast,” Bosa said.

Nick Bosa and a pair of other 49ers defenders try to tackle "best running back" Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Nick Bosa and a pair of other 49ers defenders try to tackle “best running back” Josh Jacobs of the Las Vegas Raiders. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

All the great NFL RBs and Nick Bosa chooses … Josh Jacobs?

OK, then. That’s an interesting comment for several reasons. First, Bosa’s teammate is Christian McCaffrey. Many would argue that McCaffrey is the league’s best running back.

Prior to McCaffrey being traded to the 49ers, Bosa and the 49ers faced McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers in Week 5.

But what about guys like Derrick Henry and Saquon Barkley? Those are definitely “beasts” among NFL running backs.

Well, it turns out Nick Bosa has never faced either one of them — at least not in the NFL. Neither Bosa nor Barkley played when the Giants and 49ers met in 2020. Derrick Henry was injured last season when the 49ers and Titans faced one another.

Bosa did, however, face Barkley in college. Twice, in fact. Barkley attended Penn State and Bosa Ohio State. The players met in both 2016 and 2017. Barkley ran for 99 yards on 12 carries in 2016 and had a 97-yard kickoff return touchdown in the 2017 meeting.

Nick Bosa wasn't impressed by Saquon Barkley in college.
Nick Bosa wasn’t impressed by Saquon Barkley in college. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Apparently, that don’t impress Bosa much, as the great Shania Twain would say.

I started wondering about other possible top running backs, too, because I’m here for the OutKick readers.

What about Nick Chubb? Yes, Bosa’s 49ers put a 31-3 spanking on the Browns in 2019. Chubb had 99 scrimmage yards on 17 touches.

Apparently, 49ers DE Nick Bosa doesn't find Nick Chubb as difficult to tackle as Raiders RB Josh Jacobs.
Apparently, 49ers DE Nick Bosa doesn’t find Nick Chubb as difficult to tackle as Raiders RB Josh Jacobs. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Aaron Jones, perhaps? He should feel the most slighted by Bosa’s comments since he has faced Bosa head-to-head four times, including twice in the playoffs.

Vikings workhorse Dalvin Cook? Yup, Bosa has faced him twice, once in the playoffs. But, Cook did not perform well in either meeting, especially in the playoff contest when he turned 15 touches into just 26 yards.

The biggest gripe of all, though, belongs to the NFL’s rushing champion from last season, Jonathan Taylor? Bosa faced Taylor in both the NFL and in college.

Jonathan Taylor probably won't be able to sleep tonight knowing 49ers DE Nick Bosa thinks Raiders RB Josh Jacobs is a tougher running back than him.
Jonathan Taylor probably won’t be able to sleep tonight knowing 49ers DE Nick Bosa thinks Raiders RB Josh Jacobs is a tougher running back than him (Photo credits: Getty Images)

Bosa’s Buckeyes played Taylor’s Badgers in the 2017 Big Ten Championship game. Wisconsin gave Ohio State a game (27-21 Buckeye victory) but Taylor was largely held in check (15 rushes for 41 yards).

But in their NFL meeting, Taylor absolutely got the better of Bosa. The Colts beats the 49ers, 30-18, last season. Taylor ran for 107 yards and score in the contest on 18 carries (5.9 yards/rush).

There are plenty of other guys I could add, but you get the point.

Jacobs showed up when it mattered most

There’s no question Josh Jacobs is having a phenomenal season. He’s almost certainly helped thousands, if not millions, of people win fantasy football championships this season. Jacobs leads the NFL in rushing yards with 1,608 — the only back in the league to even crack 1,500 yards on the ground thus far.

If you recall, it appeared as if the Raiders didn’t even want him. He played a lot in the preseason, which is very rare for a veteran starting running back. It seemed as though he had lost that starting gig in his contract season.

But he certainly earned himself a second contract with his play this season. Though, it probably won’t come with the Raiders since Jacobs is tired of the team’s losing culture.

He’s been a great story. But best running back in the NFL?

That’s a bit much. But who am I to say?

If I were you, I would trust the guy trying to tackle Josh Jacobs over the guy sitting in a recliner typing on a laptop.

But, hey, that’s just me.


Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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