Aaron Donald on Monday night at Cardinals: “I feel like it’s a playoff game”

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
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The Rams, who had mastered the Cardinals for multiple years, lost to Arizona at home in Week Four. Ten weeks later, it’s Rams at Cardinals on Monday Night Football.

L.A. defensive tackle Aaron Donald told reporters on Friday that the stakes seem much higher for this one.

“I feel like it’s a playoff game, so that’s how we got to take it,” Donald said. “That’s the mindset and we know we got to win. We got to win.”

It’s not really a playoff game because the loser will still keep going. If the Rams lose, however, they’ll likely be relegated to a wild-card team at best.

A win by the Cardinals would reduce Arizona’s magic number to win the division to one, since the Cardinals would be up three games in the standings plus the head-to-head tiebreaker. That would require the Rams to win their final four games and for the Cardinals to lose each of their last four.

So how can the Rams avoid landing in such a deep hole, based on the last game against Kyler Murray and company?

“We just ain’t play good, but we know what to expect,” Donald said. “We know what we got to do to try to bottle him up — not let him get out the pocket and extend plays. So we do that, we’ll be fine. We just got to find ways to get after him, make him uncomfortable, and get some hits on him this time. . . We let him get out the pocket multiple times and extend plays with his feet. And then was able to get out the pocket, see things, throw it down field, and make some plays with his arm. So, you let any quarterback do that, they are going to have a good day. So definitely the type of talent he is, we can’t allow that.”

That will require more from a pass rush that hasn’t been getting home to most quarterbacks, slow or fast.

“I think it has been there,” Donald said. “You obviously aren’t seeing the sacks because the quarterbacks have been getting the ball out fast and things like that. But if you watch the film, you see [us] putting pressure on quarterbacks, hitting quarterbacks, making them uncomfortable in the pocket. So, we are doing the job. We just got to try to capitalize and find ways to let the quarterback hold the ball that much longer, so we get them down to the ground.”

He’s saying, diplomatically, that the secondary needs to do a better job of covering the receivers so that the quarterbacks can’t find an open receiver as quickly as he has. On Monday night, we’ll see if that happens.

10 responses to “Aaron Donald on Monday night at Cardinals: “I feel like it’s a playoff game”

  1. Jalen Ramsey probably won’t like that but since Aaron Donald is huge I doubt he’ll be getting in Donald’s face about it. Donald would squish him like a grape.

  2. The narrative that you can stop Murray by keeping him in the pocket has long since been dispelled. He’s one of the most accurate pocket passers in the league. Murray is not a running QB, the Cards draw up few designed runs, and you mostly see Murray run in red zone situations.

  3. “He’s saying, diplomatically, that the secondary needs to do a better job of covering the receivers so that the quarterbacks can’t find an open receiver as quickly as he has. On Monday night, we’ll see if that happens.“

    And that’s not happening because if you’re not named J. Ramsey the rest of the Rams is well below average, nothing special to write home about at all. In front of the secondary is the Rams ILBs who have been comically horrible all season long and stand no chance against AZs inside receivers or TEs . The back 7 is a huge liability especially against great teams loaded down with elite all pro caliber talent like AZ has. The Rams pass rush up front is solid but not scary or unstoppable as Donald (7.0S)while still elite has or is starting to lose a step, Leonard Floyd a good but not special EDGE w/ 7-8 sacks this season and they traded away their future (literally) trading several high day 2 picks in RDs 2&3. Von Miller still doesn’t have a sack as a Rams. The Rams defense isn’t great by any means it’s an average to below average defense.

    Now in less than a week that freaking defense is going to stop Kyler Murray and CO? Haha they don’t stand a damn chance. AZ’s OL will be 110% health for this game. Rams will stand no chance shutting down DHOP, Christian Kirk (who’s developed into an elite WR inside having a pro bowl caliber season) who’s a monster along w/ AJ Green back to playing at an elite level & extremely explosive WR Rondale Moore w/ his elite 4.28 speed/43in vertical this dude is tearing it up as a rookie both as a runner n passer on pace for 65-70recs for 700-800+YDs. Moores roll keeps growing which is why I think he could break 800YDs as a rookie), Zac Ertz is still very much an elite pass catching TE.
    And o yea I forgot to mention AZ is also an elite rushing offense and can rush it anyway you wanna play it but they mostly use their own unique style. James Connor is playing at a borderline elite caliber level, Chase Edmonds is arguably the best most complete dual threat back in the NFL as an excellent route running receiver which is why he’s probably the best dual threat back in the NFL and he’s an excellent top notch running back as well. Edmonds could play this next weekend.

    And then oh yea Arizona has not just sn elite defense but a defense that is STACKED through all 3 levels , a turnover creation machine with an elite stacked pass rush, 3rd best pass defense in the NFL, very stout versus the run I’m other words s defense you DEFINITELY don’t want to see especially in an elimination game.

  4. Probably another game he will just go through the motions. I really did nothing against a weak Packer O line a few weeks ago.They stopped him cold whereas I thought he would wreak havoc from everything I’ve heard. To me, way over rated.

  5. This game will probably be decided by time of possession. If we can get Sony Michel into a rhythm pounding the rock, and can dominate time of possession. We win. Deep throws will become more available and the defense will remain fresh. Our pass rush is very good.

  6. It’s not so much a secret anymore in the NFL that Kyler Murray, despite being one of the best running QB’s in the history of the game, is currently the top passing QB in the game. Check the QB passer ratings, yards per attempt, yards per completion, etc.

  7. Aaron Donald is to be Honored and Recognized… It’s a shame JJ Was is not available so the NFL could watch a premiere #99 duel. (maybe in the post season?). His observations and assessments about Kyler are spot on, but unfortunately there is literally nothing LA will be able to do to contain this creative multi-dimensional threat. Kyler is refreshed, crisp, and motivated to get the end of this season rolling. The National MNF audience will be in awe…..

  8. It’s a playoff game the Rams yes….They can’t afford more losses. Cardinals play loose and win by a touchdown. Book it.

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