Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year of the Los Angeles Rams, Aaron Donald, on Sunday broke the NFL total single-season sack record of a defensive tackle. The previous record held by former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Keith Millard was set by in 1989 with a total of 18 quarterback sacks. The bizarre part to Donalds run that it would take him to the fourth game to record his first sack of the season.
As the Rams faced the Chicago Bears and followed by Philadelphia Eagles, who thought that they would run into a two-game losing skid? Donald and the Rams defense shutout with no quarterback sacks in that duration left Donald with 16.5 sacks.
However, that changed on Sunday as the Rams met their division rivaled Arizona Cardinals. Donald would sack Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen for the second time of the game to break Millard's record that stood for nearly for 29 years. Donald would yet get another sack on Rosen to extend his NFL leading sack total of the season and his new total to 19.5 sacks.
The Rams will play their season and home finale on this Sunday as they will meet the San Francisco 49ers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Since returning from Saint Louis, the Rams are 0-2 against the 49ers, with an epic comeback by former Colin Kaepernick who rallied them back to beat the Rams in the closing minutes.
In a meaningful game, last season as two-thirds of the starters benched, the 49ers beat the Rams handily. The 49ers played a tough game against the Bears this past Sunday of a score of 14-9, as they held them scoreless for almost half the game. Their defense played tough and limited the Bears offense to a small margin of success.
As the Rams prepare to play the 49ers on Sunday, Donald will enter the game needing three sacks to tie former New Giants Michael Strahan record. Strahan set a new career sack record of 22.5 sacks against the Green Bay Packers in 2001 when he sacked Brett Favre.
There are those who still question that sack as it seemed to be a designed play for Strahan to come untouched and Favre nonchalantly gives himself up and lay down for the sack. However, it will not come that easy for Donald as he will continue to find ways to beat the double and triple team blocking assignments that are designed to contain him on the field.
Congratulation to Aaron Donald on his tremendous run on eclipsing Millard's record, but all eyes will be on him and Strahan's record on Sunday. Should Donald break Strahan's' record against the 49ers where he had four sack in the first meeting, he clearly in our opinion, will have stamped his name on the NFL Most Valuable Player of the Year Award.
The booking agents have opened the Rams up at 8.5 points early favorite against the 49ers.