Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
For the fifth time of the 2018 NFL season, a Los Angeles Rams player named as a player of the week recipient. Just one week ago, running back Todd Gurley was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for a career-best of 208 yards. Two weeks prior, Jared Goff was named not only Offensive Player of the Week, but also selected as the NFC Player of the Month.
However, this week, the 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year winner Aaron Donald was named as NFC Defensive Player of the week. Donald with his extraordinary performance against the San Francisco 49ers was unbelievable with his play.
Donald's 2018 season started slowly; however, his play has increased to a higher level. On Sunday at Levi Stadium, Donald sacked 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard for a career-best of four-times. In addition to Donald's four sacks, he had nine total tackles (eight solo tackles), six tackles for losses, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five quarterback hits.
Donald asked during a post-game interview regarding his sack coming in bunches and did he ever make a goal on how many to seize for a game. Donald replied:
“My daughter wanted me to get 10, and my son wanted me to get three, so I hope they’re going to be happy with four.”
On Donald's forced fumble, it was of the most fantastic strip and recovery many have ever seen. 49ers running Matt Breida took a handoff from Beathard and attempted to pick up yardage as Donald reached right and ripped the ball from his arms into his own. The Rams defense held the Niners run game to just 107 yards rushing. For the match recorded seven sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 12 quarterback hits, five pass deflections and 13.5 tackles for loss.
Donald is currently the NFL leader in sacks with 8.0 and leads Minnesota Vikings Danielle Hunter and Denver Broncos Von Miller by 0.5 sacks. Considering the fact, Donald didn't record his first sack until week four against the Seattle Seahawks. He's now averaging two sacks per game, on a pace to record 24 sack for the season. That total is an insane number for an interior defensive lineman in today's game.
Donald is arguably one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the league, creating havoc for offensive lines. The opposing offenses are doubling and tripling team him, and he still creates quarterback pressure. At this rate, Donald will become the NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
The Rams return home to host the Green Bay Packers after coming off a bye this week. The Packers beat the 49ers last Monday night with an impressive fourth quarter led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers engineered the Packers offense to score 10 points in the final 1:37 seconds left in the game.
The Rams defense will face a Packers offense that's led by Rodgers but with youth at their wide-receivers positions. When healthy, Randall Cobb is the most explosive player on the team both as receiver and ball carrier. Leading the Packers receiving core will be Davonte Adams a receiver that can get open and catch the ball everywhere on the field.
The Rams will need to apply much pressure to Rodgers while hobbled with a bad knee he sustained in week one against the Chicago Bears. Rodgers has very tall receivers across the board with rookie Marquez Valdez-Scantling starting to come along great. Valdez-Scantling, a tall and speedy receiver that can take the top off a defense.
At tight end, Packers have veteran Jimmy Graham and former Rams Lance Kendricks. Kendricks could be looking for retaliation of being waived by the Rams last season. The Packers offense can be most dangerous in their four and five-wide receiver sets. However, at the level that the Rams defense has climbed, Donald will be licking his chops to get to Rodgers.
The Rams have opened up as an 8½ point favorite over the Packers, who will be striving to evade out of Los Angeles with a victor. Winning will be handing down the Rams their first loss for the season which is seeking to be 8-0 and remain perfect for the season.
However, Donald had a few choice words to that thought of the Packers or any other team they'll face:
“Let’s keep getting better.”