The Rams and Cardinals will meet in the playoffs for only the second time in history. But as division rivals, they’re also playing for the third time this season.
Arizona won the first matchup in Los Angeles in Week Four, but the Rams beat the Cardinals in the desert on a Monday night in Week 13. Despite missing a few key players due to COVID-19, including star defensive back Jalen Ramsey, Los Angles won that game in large part due to defensive tackle Aaron Donald‘s strong performance.
From the first snap, Donald was a terror in the Cardinals’ backfield. And Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury acknowledged as much in a conference call with L.A. media on Wednesday.
“Yeah, I mean, Aaron Donald wrecked the entire game,” Kingsbury said, via Jourdan Rodrigue of TheAthletic.com. “Thought he had as dominating a defensive performance as you’ll see, which is not unusual for him.”
Donald finished the game with 3.0 sacks, three tackles for loss, and a pass breakup while playing 95 percent of the defensive snaps.
The Cardinals need to have a better plan for Donald heading into Monday’s contest. But even the best plans for the three-time defensive player of the year tend to go sideways when Donald is at his best.