Los Angeles Rams DL Aaron Donald’s dominance and consistency is akin to that of breathing air. You don’t even know that you’re performing the action. Your brain simply tells your body to do it, and it happens. You don’t blink twice thinking about it.
Donald is the same way.
His play from a down-to-down and week-to-week basis is simply dominant. Whether or not the stats come, it’s become a routine to wreak havoc on offensive lineman for #99. You hardly even notice it anymore.
“Oh, no biggie.”
Forced fumble and recovery?
“He’s done better.”
“One of many.”
All true. And all happened this Sunday when the Rams dominated the San Francisco 49ers in their own house improving their record to an unblemished 7-0.
Donald’s statline included:
- 8 tackles
- 4 sacks
- 6 TFL’s
- Forced fumble
- Fumble recovery
Not only this, but Donald rode the wave to lead the league in sacks with eight sacks in seven games. Second place is a touch behind with 7.5 (Danielle Hunter).
Have a look at the highlight film from Donald’s day of work on Sunday:
Aaron Donald should get another 135M on his contract after what he did to the 49ers on Sunday ⬇️— Sosa (@QBsMVP) October 23, 2018
• 8 tackles
• 4 sacks
• 6 TFL's
• Forced fumble
• Fumble recovery
• Leads NFL in sacks (8)#GOAT pic.twitter.com/cFoQQ8oHNS
Here is Donald’s pace through the first seven weeks in every year of his NFL career:
Here are Aaron Donald's sacks through his first seven games each year in his career:— Sosa (@QBsMVP) October 22, 2018
2014: 2 sacks
2015: 4.5 sacks
2016: 3 sacks
2017: 4 sacks
2018: 8 sacks
Somehow, someway, the best continues to get better. You're watching greatness move.
The man got paid the richest contract in NFL history for a defender (for one day) and actually picked up his play. Months ago I wrote an article about how I expected Donald to challenge fellow DT Keith Millard’s record of 18 sacks in a season for a defensive tackle Millard set the record in 1989 with Donald currently on pace for 18.3 sacks which would obviously result in a tie.
Another angle to look at is the Defensive Player of the Year award. There have only been two defenders in NFL history to win consecutive DPOY awards (Lawrence Taylor, J.J. Watt). If Donald can keep pace - and more specifically challenge the 18-sack mark - he’d have a tremendous shot to be the third defender to ever clear this hurdle.
The greatness has continued from #99 thus far, and the early returns on the contract extension have been nothing short of brilliant.
As long as Aaron Donald suits up for the Rams, the defense has a shot to knock off even the best of offenses.