It seems like ages ago at this point, but there was a time in the not-so-distant past where Los Angeles Rams’ defensive tackle Aaron Donald wasn’t setting foot on the field until the organization came correct with the money.
The Rams ultimately paid the man, and the most dominant force on the defensive side of the football delivered...yet again.
For the second consecutive year, the NFL is naming Donald the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
.@RamsNFL DT @AaronDonald97 is the 2018 Defensive Player of the Year! #NFLHonors pic.twitter.com/JMVQRJmpxP— NFL (@NFL) February 2, 2019
This probably comes as no surprise, as he’s made his name that of the household variety on seemingly every Sunday (and Monday...and Thursday). AD99 set himself apart in the what figures to be the most important qualifier for the award, as he was the only defensive player to eclipse the 20-sack mark (with 20.5) on the year. Texans’ J.J. Watt finished second with 16.0.
Even when he wasn’t destroying the QB, Donald made it his business to be living in the opposition’s backfield — leading the league in tackles for loss, with 28. Vikings’ Danielle Hunter dropped in at No. 2 in that category with 21.
Cheers to ya, Aaron Donald! May you replicate your Week 7 performance in San Francisco (4.0 sacks, 9 tackles, 6 TFL, and 5 QB hits) on Super Bowl Sunday.