First, the rookie pass rusher pretended to plant a flag after the final play of the first half. After the 49ers’ convincing 31-3 victory, he for real planted a 49ers’ flag in the end zone.
Then, for good measure, he trolled the Browns quarterback in his postgame media session.
“I was kind of trying to talk [to Mayfield],” Bosa said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I don’t usually talk, but this game he had it coming. He didn’t say one word back.
“I was just screaming his name like, ‘Baaaaaker. Baaaaaker. You good? Step it up. We want a challenge.'”
Bosa hasn’t forgotten what the Buckeyes considered an act of disrespect in 2017 when, after Oklahoma’s victory at Ohio State, Mayfield planted an OU flag at midfield.
Bosa said he planned on a flag-planting gesture all week, because Mayfield “had it coming.”
“I practiced a little bit in my room,” Bosa said, via Omar Ruiz of the NFL. “It was pretty accurate. I mean, the image was in my head pretty good, so I had an idea.”
Bosa got to Mayfield on the final play of the first half, wrapping up the quarterback’s ankles and bringing him down. Although it appeared Mayfield’s knees were down before he threw away the pass, officials ruled it intentional grounding instead.
Bosa’s celebration mocked Mayfield’s celebration from two years ago. (Though it surely left many Buckeyes torn.)
“Everyone knows what that was for,” Bosa said. “It was payback.”
Mayfield didn’t have much to say about Bosa’s celebration after the game.
“I didn’t know that until I was informed before I got up here,” Mayfield said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Good for him. Good play.”
Mayfield had three turnovers, 100 passing yards, a 13.4 passer rating and took four sacks and eight quarterback hits. Bosa, who was off the injury report last week for the first time this season, had four tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble.
“He was panicking,” Bosa said of Mayfield. “He was double-clutching, rolling back and forth. We had him rattled all game.”
Bosa became the only 49ers player in the past 25 years with two sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery in a single game, per ESPN Stats & Info.
It’s just too bad the Browns and 49ers won’t meet again for another four years (unless it’s in a Super Bowl), because this rivalry has gotten good.