Aaron Donald dominates as Rams clinch NFC West

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The Rams have clinched the NFC West, and Aaron Donald is close to clinching the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

Donald was dominant today in Detroit, tormenting Matthew Stafford all day and finally forcing him to fumble in the fourth quarter, setting up a Rams touchdown that clinched what would turn into a 30-16 win.

Although there are other worthy candidates, including Khalil Mack and J.J. Watt, Donald appears to be the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year. He’s been outstanding for a Rams team that is the first in the NFL to clinch a playoff berth.

Donald had his big game on a day when the Rams’ offense struggled. Jared Goff had a hard time getting the Rams moving, and he threw a couple passes that easily could have been pick-sixes. Todd Gurley was bottled up for much of the game, although he did score the clinching touchdown after Donald’s forced fumble.

The Lions’ offense was a mess. Aside from a trick play touchdown pass to left tackle Taylor Decker, it was stagnating all day. And the Lions’ playcalling was terrible, including a run up the middle on third-and-goal from the 19-yard line, and a bubble screen on third-and-15.

Lions coach Matt Patricia is now 4-8 in his first season in Detroit, which ought to put him on the hot seat, considering his predecessor, Jim Caldwell, was fired for going 9-7 two years in a row.

Sean McVay has had no such problems building the Rams. After inheriting a terrible team from Jeff Fisher, McVay has the Rams in the playoffs once again.

14 responses to “Aaron Donald dominates as Rams clinch NFC West

  1. Donald has a real shot at Strahan’s sack record. Ate Detroit’s offensive line alive today.

    Gurley’s decision to turn down a TD seemed unnecessary at the time but he caused Detroit to burn their last timeout and then scored anyway. Such a heady player, always knows the situation.

  2. Aaron Donald currently have 16.5 sacks and 4 force fumbles with 4 games to go, while being double team a NFL high 72% of defensive snaps. Have 2 sacks or more in 5 of his last 6 games, he’s easily the DPOY.

  3. For this to be a league skewed toward offenses, we are privileged to be in this golden era of defensive edge rushers. Donald, Mack, Watt, Clowny, Miller, etc. Just a terrific bunch in the league right now.

  4. He was huge today. I felt like this was Goff’s first real off game today, which i attribute to the travel and early game. But Donald saved us repeatedly.

  5. I like Gurley’s decision to eat clock rather than score. With time-outs and the two minute warning, the Lions conceivably would have had enough time to score a TD and go for an onside kick. But, the previous onside kick was not a well-selected version of that play – coaching failure.

    Lions didn’t cover the spread, but they played better than I expected. Goff looked like he had bye-week rust. Hopefully he plays much better outdoors in Chicago against the Bears. NFC Central is a weak division this year. IF Patricia was a decent coach and delivered as was promised, the Lions could be contending for the NFC North title – and be in first place. The decision to trade Golden Tate was meant he and Quinn decided to tank the season.

    On the final interception, it looked to me like Golladay had given up on the play and didn’t care. On one hand, as far as the game outcome goes it was a meaningless play. On the other, it was a black mark on his QB. I think his lack of effort showed a lack of maturity.

  6. I thought The Lions’s defense played well until the end, and the team had opportunities offensively as well. It just seemed like they got close and then failed, which is the story of our season. Still, kudos for playing the Rams tough!!

  7. Bill B’s coaching tree hasn’t been that good, win/loss record wise.

    They seem to be unable to transfer what they’ve learned to other coaches and players.

  8. After so many years of failure…the Caldwell years brought hope. Two playoff appearances and things started looking up. Then 2018 happened. Such a brutal season for Lions fans.

  9. PLEEZ stop comparing Patricia to Caldwell;

    Matt is a first year head coach on a complrely depleted team that is lucky to even field 54 players;

    Caldwell was a Human Resources Counselor who never even one time beat a playoff calibre team with a winning record at the time his team played them, even in his fluke 11-5 season;

    this team needed a total tear down and complete rebuild because 9-7 is MEDIOCRE;

    no 9-7 team has yet made the Super, much less won it and so consecutive seasons of 9-7 constituted little more than wading upstream beneath Niagara Falls;

    it took a woman to recognise these things because her imbecile husband never did from 1957 to his death six decades later—which ironically covers the same time period the Lions have won maybe three playoff games in total;

    lastly, the pathetic way Caldwell let Manning take over running the Indianapolis Colts on national TV tells me he would NEVER outcoach another team of equal or greater ability—a fact which again was amply proven repeatedly by how Caldwell never beat a playoff level team in all the time he was with Detroit;

    Caldwell was a sham;

    Patricia is still an unknown quantity because he wasn’t given a team good as the one Caldwell inherited;

    the plain fact of the matter is before Patricia can coach the way he wants, he must first clean up Caldwell’s incompetent mess Caldwell left behind;

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