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Rams News: How Aaron Donald and Greg Gaines grade out during the Wildcard round

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 1/20/22

LA Rams Arizona Cardinals NFL Playoffs Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams were outright dominant in the Wildcard round in their 34-11 win against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards were held to under 65 yards total rushing, less than 140 yards total passing, were shut out in the first half, and only scored 11 points in the game. While the offense had a productive, efficient, and clean game, scoring three touchdowns and committing zero turnovers, it was the defense who also stepped up and played a complete game stealing the ball away twice and turning one of those takeaways into a defensive touchdown.

The secondary gets a lot of credit for holding their own especially with two backup safeties in Terrell Burgess and Nick Scott but it was all set up by the play of the front seven.

Led by Aaron Donald, every one of the box defenders had an impact on the game but it was Donald and nose tackle Greg Gaines that PFF named as two of the three interior defensive players with the highest grade during the Wildcard round.

Against Arizona, Donald and Gaines combined for five tackles, one sack, and two hits on the quarterback. But it was their pressure and presence that had an indirect impact for example both Gaines and Donald drew the double teams during the second quarter interception touchdown that had Troy Reeder breaking free on the blitz and cornerback David Long Jr taking the pick in for the score.

Ashawn Robinson is also heating up at the right time and had seven tackles against the Cardinals. The line will have to keep the strong play going as they look ahead to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

And now for today’s links:

RAMS NEWS:

Los Angeles Rams’ Matthew Stafford says toe feeling fine ahead of playoff game vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN)

First Look: Rams clash with Bucs in Divisional Round of playoffs (Rams.com)

Odell Beckham Jr. hit with PED test after big game vs. Cardinals (RamsWire)

Andrew Whitworth injury history and updates (RamblinFan)

NFL NEWS:

NFL fines Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians $50,000 for striking player on helmet (NFL.com)

NFL injury updates, latest league news from Wednesday, Jan. 19 (NFL.com)

Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry passes test with contact practice (ESPN)

NFL coaching carousel: Predicting which coaches will land in each open spot, as Giants make a splash hire (CBSsports)