Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The reigning 2017 Defensive Player of the Year and Los Angeles Rams Aaron has been named the December Defensive Player of the Month. The second time that the Rams future Hall of Famer Defensive Lineman has won this season.
The 2018 NFL season started slowly for Donald; however, his play had increased to a higher level. On a Sunday afternoon at Levi Stadium, Donald sacked 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard for a career-best of four-times in that game. In addition to Donald's four sacks, he posted nine total tackles (eight solo tackles), six tackles for losses, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five quarterback hits.
Blanked in the first two outings of December against the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles, Donald aimed toward a sack record that the Arizona Cardinals stood in his way of obtaining. In week two of the season, the Cardinals were able to keep Donald under wrap as he failed to get a sack in his second consecutive game, well let's say the first three games.
However, in the second meeting against the Cardinals, Donald was able to sack Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen three times in that game. On Donald's second sack, he would break the single-season record for defensive tackles with his 18.5 sack of the season.
Keith Millard, the former Minnesota Vikings record stood for some 29 years until Donald would break and extend his record. Donald finished the game with nine totaled tackles (seven solos), four tackles for losses, four quarterback hits, and three sacks.
Donald's tremendous effort surpassing Millard's record, came to an end against the 49ers as all eyes were on him breaking Michael Strahan's single record of 22.5 sacks last Sunday. Donald fell short as he was only able to sack 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens once in the game.
Despite falling short to Strahan's record, Donald has rewritten the record book of sacks by a defensive tackle. His new sack record potentially has helped him established a firm stance of being named the 2018 NFL MVP.
The last defensive player to win the MVP was linebacker Lawrence Taylor back in 1986. In that season Taylor posted 20.5 sacks and 105 total tackles, where he was not only NFL MVP, but also the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and won a Super Bowl.
Donald is on the same path that Taylor crossed some 33 years ago, and argumentatively has become one of the NFL greatest defensive player to have played the game. The question to ask will the writers finally convinced themselves other than Tom Brady named not included in this year's balloting?