To no one’s surprise, superstar defensive lineman Aaron Donald is having another incredible season. Donald has been so dominant that not only is he the front runner for Defensive player of the year, but he also is in the MVP discussion.
So far this season, Donald leads the league with 16.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss. He also has 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 43 tackles, and a ridiculous 32 quarterback hits. However, the statistics only do Aaron Donald some justice for how much of a game wrecker he can be.
I decided to look back and re-watch each of his sacks that he had this year and list them below. The results speak for themselves.
Week 4 vs Minnesota
Rams lead 38-28 (4th quarter 15:00): 2nd and 8 at Minnesota 41
Donald uses a perfect swim move to get around the left guard and immediately wrap Kirk Cousins up and take him to the ground in under two seconds.
Rams lead 38-31 (4th quarter 2:20): 1st and 10 at Minnesota 34
Donald blows by the left guard as soon as the ball is snapped and grabs Kirk Cousins and throws him to the ground like a sack of potatoes for a loss of 9.
Week 5 at Seattle
Tied 7-7 (1st quarter 2:00): 1st and 10 at Seattle 25
Donald pushes left guard to the side and does not bite on the play action as he grabs Russell Wilson and throws him to the ground for a loss of 7.
Week 6 at Denver
Rams lead 13-3 (3rd quarter 11:03): 3rd and 7 at 50-yard line
Donald patiently backs off a double team and waits until Case Keenum rolls out. He then uses his speed to get to the outside and sack Keenum before he can throw it away, forcing a forth and long.
Week 7 at San Francisco
Rams lead 10-0 (2nd quarter 13:41): 3rd and 13 at San Francisco 22
Donald uses his pure strength to push the center back 5 yards into CJ Beathard causing him to fall down and force the 49ers to punt.
Rams lead 22-7 (3rd quarter 15:00): 1st and 10 at San Francisco 25
On the very first play of the second half, Donald uses a combination of speed to get to the outside and strength to push the tackle into Beathard causing him to trip for a loss of 9.
Rams lead 32-10 (4th quarter 13:44): 1st and 10 at San Francisco 9
Donald blows by a double team on the outside and does not allow Beathard any time to step up in the pocket as he wraps him up for his 3rd sack of the game.
Rams lead 39-10 (4th quarter 9:56): 3rd and 4 at San Francisco 39
Donald mauls the center forcing him back 9 yards and then quickly pushing him out of the way to sack Beathard before he is able to escape the pocket. This was Donald’s 4th sack of the game!
Week 8 vs Green Bay
Packers lead 10-8 (3rd quarter 10:26): 3rd and 2 at Los Angeles 26
Donald sprints past the left guard and sacks Aaron Rodgers from his blindside for a loss of 9 forcing Green Bay to settle for a long field goal attempt.
Packers lead 27-26 (4th quarter 5:57): 3rd and 6 at Green Bay 25
Donald blasts through the middle of the offensive line sacking Rodgers for a loss of 9 and forcing Green Bay to punt when only up by 1 late in the 4th quarter.
Week 10 vs Seattle
Seahawks lead 14-10 (2nd quarter 13:29): 3rd and 5 at Seattle 30
Donald dominates the left guard and throws him into Russell Wilson knocking Wilson to the ground for a loss of 9.
Seahawks lead 14-10 (2nd quarter 8:17): 3rd and 6 at Seattle 35
Donald blitzes across the center and sprints around the guard coming in untouched and diving to tackle Russell Wilson before he can step up in the pocket.
Week 11 vs Kansas City
Chiefs lead 17-16 (2nd quarter 2:00): 2nd and 8 at Kansas City 22
Perhaps Donald’s most impressive sack all year. He beats the left guard on a stutter step move and then strip sacks Patrick Mahomes. The guard was forcing Donald to the ground so he superman dove towards Mahomes’ blindside knocking out the ball which was then recovered and returned for a touchdown.
Game tied 23-23 (3rd quarter 13:39): 1st and 10 at Kansas City 25
As he is being forced to the outside, Donald pushes the left guard out of the way and then dives at Patrick Mahomes with enough strength to knock him to the ground and force out the football again.
Week 13 at Detroit
Rams lead 16-13 (4th quarter 11:36): 2nd and 7 at Detroit 47
While being held by the left guard, Donald dives around him and grabs Matthew Stafford by the waist dragging him down for a loss of 7.
Rams lead 16-13 (4th quarter 8:25): 1st and 10 at Detroit 42
Donald splits a double team and full out dives at Matthew Stafford knocking the ball out as he lunges towards him. The Rams recover the fumble at the Detroit 23-yard line.
Every week Aaron Donald continues to terrorize opposing lineman and quarterbacks. He is a game changing defensive player whose best plays typically come when the Rams need them most. Donald has the speed and strength combination to be a mismatch for any opposing player. There is no stopping Aaron Donald and there is no containing him. All I can say is, I’m very grateful he’s on our team.
Featured Image: Dave Birkett/Detroit Free Press