NFL

NFL: Nick Bosa’s Flag Troll on Baker Mayfield Was so Well Played

San Francisco 49ers Defensive End Nick Bosa (97) waves the flag

In 2017, Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners pulled off an upset win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. Never one to shy away from a bit of controversy, Mayfield ran onto the field in the post-game with a giant Oklahoma flag, waving it around at the 50-yard-ling before planting it in the middle of Ohio State’s logo.

Nick Bosa hasn’t forgotten about that episode. The second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft was a sophomore on the Buckeyes in 2017 and was on the receiving end of that 31-16 loss and Baker Mayfield’s slight. On Monday Night Football, Bosa got some sweet revenge.

Bosa fakes the flag plant, then does it for real

The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Cleveland Browns on both sides of the ball Monday. With a 21-3 lead built up by halftime, Nick Bosa taunted Mayfield and the Browns after a sack by using his hands to pretend that he was waving and then planting a flag on the field.

After the 49ers wrapped up their 31-3 victory over the Browns, Bosa found a giant San Francisco 49ers flag. He waved it around in celebration and planted it in the endzone, enjoying every minute of the taunt.

Before pulling off his troll in the post-game, Nick Bosa had the best game of his young NFL career. Bosa set new career highs in tackles (with four) and sacks (with two) while also recording the first forced fumble of his career.

Nick Bosa had plenty of details to share in his post-game press conference

Nick Bosa didn’t just come up with this stunt out of the blue. He has been planning it all week.

“I practiced a little bit in my room,” Bosa said of his flag celebration, 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 also revealed that he had been talking trash during the game, but wasn’t getting anything back from Mayfield. “I was kind of trying to talk to him,” Bosa said, per 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, ‘Baker. Baker. You good? Step it up. We want a challenge.’”

“He was panicking,” Bosa commented on Mayfield’s performance. “He was double-clutching, rolling back and forth. We had him rattled all game.” Baker Mayfield finished the game with only 100 passing yards, completing eight of his 22 pass attempts with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

A bittersweet moment for Ohio fans

Nick Bosa recording one of his two sacks on Baker Mayfield
Nick Bosa recording one of his two sacks on Baker Mayfield | Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

If Baker Mayfield played for any other team, this taunt would have surely been almost universally loved by Ohio State Buckeyes fans. But Mayfield plays for the Browns in Cleveland, Ohio, where there is plenty of crossover between Browns and Buckeyes fans.

So while Ohio State fans had to be smiling about the flag trolling, it came at the expense of the Browns, who fell to 2-3 on the season and seemed to erase any momentum they may have had coming off of their 40-25 win over the Baltimore Ravens the week before.

Unfortunately, the Browns and 49ers only play once every four years. Imagine the potential this rivalry would have if Bosa and Mayfield were division rivals?