Chargers’ Joey Bosa kicking himself for losing his cool against the Jets

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa chases the quarterback during a game against the New York Jets.
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa chases the quarterback during a game against the New York Jets on Nov. 22 at SoFi Stadium.
( John Cordes / Associated Press)

He had a career high with five quarterback hits and a daily low with one trash can kick.

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa acknowledged he was disappointed in how frustrated he allowed himself to become Sunday after narrowly missing a sack and forced fumble against the New York Jets.

“I need to be a better leader for these young guys,” he explained Thursday. “When they see me coming off kicking and screaming about a play I missed, they need to see me take a breath and be like, ‘OK, whatever. Next play.’ ”

Early in the second quarter, Bosa tracked down quarterback Joe Flacco on third and two and knocked the ball loose. Teammate Michael Davis recovered at the Jets’ 27-yard line.

But a replay review changed the call to an incomplete pass, officials ruling that Flacco’s right arm was moving forward just enough to warrant a reversal.


On the sideline, Bosa reacted by kicking a trash can, a moment that CBS captured and then showed its television audience in slow motion.

Bosa said that when he was younger, he sometimes allowed such frustration to linger and disrupt his performance on subsequent plays. He said that wasn’t the case Sunday.

The Chargers removed special teams coordinator George Stewart from his role on Wednesday after penalties and blocked punts took their toll.

Nov. 25, 2020

“I kind of centered that anger and used it as motivation to keep going and keep pushing,” he said. “You want to use that anger as drive. You don’t want to throw a tantrum and set a bad example for the young guys.”

Now in his fifth season, Bosa continues to cement himself as a leader on this team and one of the top defensive ends in the NFL.

In August, he signed a five-year, $135-million extension that guaranteed him $102 million, a league record for a defensive player. The deal gave Bosa the sort of security few around the organization possess today, particularly with the Chargers sputtering through a 3-7 season.

Given his situation, the 25-year-old former first-round pick indicated he feels the responsibly of setting the proper tone, especially for the defense.


“You’re mad,” Bosa said he told himself Sunday. “You need to take a breath and calm down or this is going to drag on into the next play, next series. You’re never making good decisions when you’re furiously angry.”

The game against the Jets was an active one for Bosa. Along with his five quarterback hits, he had two tackles and a pair of roughing-the-passer penalties, both infractions coming during a 2½-minute stretch in the fourth quarter.

The first was for a hit officials deemed was late, Bosa admitting he made a “stupid mistake.”

The second was for hitting Flacco low. Bosa beat New York right tackle Chuma Edoga but lost his balance and fell in front of Flacco. He then reached out and wrapped up around Flacco’s knees to bring him down.

“I don’t know what to do about it,” Bosa said. “It’s the call. So I’m going to have to try to not tackle him. … It was literally the only thing I could do.”

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said he disagreed with the penalty and praised Bosa for bringing Flacco down without doing anything malicious or potentially harmful.


“He did a heck of a job of making an effort to get to the quarterback,” Lynn said. “And I don’t think it was vicious once he got to his legs … could have been worse.”

Bosa called the penalty “kind of ridiculous” but said he understood the importance of protecting quarterbacks who, in some case, can be almost defenseless in such situations.

Before Sunday, Bosa had been flagged four times this season, twice for offsides and twice for neutral-zone infractions. His previous roughing-the-passer penalty came in Week 3 of last season.

“The rule is, I guess, if you hit him below the knee, you can’t do that,” Bosa said. “So you gotta somehow sweep his leg or something ridiculous. I’m sure they’ll come out in a few games and be like, ‘Oh, we were wrong. We’ve changed it,’ and that will make it all better, but whatever. I just have to be smart and play by the rules.”


Denzel Perryman has the reputation of being perhaps the Chargers’ hardest hitter, particularly with safety Derwin James out.

Against the Jets, the veteran linebacker had two notable collisions, one coming when he knocked down left tackle Mekhi Becton, a rookie and first-round pick who is 6-foot-7, 363 pounds. Perryman is 5-11, 240.

“I didn’t know he weighed that much until after the game when everybody’s giving me his measurements,” Perryman said. “That is one of the biggest guys I guess I’d say I’ve put down.”

Said Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley: “That’s what Denzel Perryman is, right? He’s a physical player, very good instances. He’s got a lot of explosiveness.”


Chargers coach Anthony Lynn admits the Jets defense won the trenches and kept his team from establishing any kind of rushing attack.

Nov. 23, 2020

On the other hit, Perryman met running back Frank Gore head-on in a violent encounter. Both got up smiling and acknowledged one another by butting helmets.

Gore and Perryman are from south Florida and played collegiately at Miami. Perryman said they’ve worked out together in the offseason.

He also said that after their only other meeting in the NFL — when Gore was playing for Indianapolis — Gore later bragged about what had happened.

“I can’t remember this, but he ended up telling everybody back in the neighborhood where we’re from that he ran me over,” Perryman said, smiling. “So I made it my duty to get a good lick on him when we played him again.”


Cornerback Casey Hayward (groin) and defensive end Melvin Ingram (knee) did not practice Thursday for the second day in a row, putting their availability for Sunday at Buffalo in doubt.

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who is dealing with a knee problem, also didn’t practice, the Chargers’ official report noting his absence was not injury related.


Running back Kalen Ballage (ankle/calf) was limited in practice. Edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu (shoulder/chest) also missed practice as he’s expected to be out for weeks.