Rams’ Aaron Donald Admits Big Mistake in Playoff Win Over Bucs

Aaron Donald

Getty Aaron Donald and the Rams before taking the field on October 30, 2022 versus the 49ers.

Though 3-4 overall and already one loss away from matching their loss total from a year ago, the Los Angeles Rams have this claim that few teams in the NFL have at the moment: A winning streak over Tom Brady.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion was once immensely successful against the Rams — producing a 5-1 overall record in a New England Patriots uniform against them, including the two times they played for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. But ever since Brady started leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense, he’s lost three in a row against the Rams.

Aaron Donald has played an integral role in those wins over the legendary quarterback. The eight-time Pro Bowl selection has sacked Brady twice in the three wins including in their last meeting won by “A.D.” and L.A. 30-27 in the NFC Divisional round of the playoffs.

Donald, however, recalled one major mistake the Rams made that nearly derailed the Rams at Raymond James Stadium — a mistake they hope doesn’t resurface.

Donald Recalls Key Sequence

Donald and the Rams were looking like a team that would win in a romp and seal the win right away, leading 27-3 in the third quarter.

But after Matthew Stafford powered in for a 1-yard touchdown to build the lead to 24, Brady began to ignite his resilient side. He went on to complete four straight passes on the next Bucs drive, including the 42-yarder to Rob Gronkowski that set up a field goal. Then, following a Cooper Kupp fumble, Brady would connect on four of his next six passes that led to a Leonard Fournette touchdown.

Brady went on to produce five completions that tallied 10 yards or more — including the 55-yard score to Mike Evans. Donald recalled the mistake the Rams made with the L.A. media on Thursday, November 3: They gave him comfort.

“He started getting a little comfortable on us,” Donald said. “So he started to find a way to put his team back in a position to win that game and we found a way to win it.”

Donald and the Rams won in exhilarating fashion off a walk-off field goal by Matt Gay in the closing seconds. And in the process, upped their record against a Brady-led Bucs team to 3-0. Donald, though, isn’t thinking about that game as they’ll soon return to Tampa.

“But last year’s last year, this is a new year,” Donald said. “Like I said, two good teams playing against each other. Obviously, we both want to win, and we just got to play our part and fly around trying to find way so we come out victorious.”

How Does Rams Pass Rush Fare Against 2022 Bucs?

This time, Donald and the Rams are facing a Bucs offensive line that has surrendered 13 sacks this season — the fewest among NFC South teams.

But, the front line has given up a combined six sacks during their three-game slide, most recently three in the Week 8 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

“Obviously it’s trying to find a way to affect him, not let him get comfortable because he could pick you apart if you do that,” Donald said. “So, you know that’s the only thing you can do as a defense, as a defensive front when they want to drop back and pass, trying to put pressure on him, trying to get close to him, make him feel uncomfortable, make him feel you so he ain’t back there and able to pick you apart. So obviously his career speaks for itself, the things he’s able to do. So as defensive front, for us to help the secondary, we got to find ways to affect him.”

While the Rams have a great opportunity to extend the winning streak over Brady and the Bucs to four, there’s another four they can hit: Their fourth victory to get back to .500, as a way to redeem themselves from the October 30 debacle against the San Francisco 49ers.

“Well obviously you want to get back on track,” Donald said. “Losing ain’t a good feeling. It definitely puts you in a mood you don’t want to be in, but you just got to stay locked in. There’s a lot more football left. So for us to get to what we want to try to get to, it’s all in front of us. We control that right now. Like I said, there’s a lot more games left, and we can turn things around and that starts this week.”

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