LA Rams ‘average’ DL Aaron Donald on pace to shatter franchise record

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

This just in. Despite claims of new metrics that LA Rams DL Donald ‘average’, he is on pace to shatter the team’s QB-sack record this year.

We are torn in our emotions over the aftermath of LA Rams All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald appearing as ‘average’ in a new metric developed by new data-crunchers at ESPN.  Of course, any new models of data would be best to trial their number-crunching against a control group. If the analysis does not arrive at the expected results, then the model is flawed.  I think analysts at ESPN have learned that lesson by now.

We are torn in our emotions because one side wants to be sympathetic. It’s hard to be so wrong so publicly that former NFL players scold you on social media. That’s a tough place to recover from.  But we are also compelled to send the analysts a thank you card. I’m a bit confident that Rams’ new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley would like to pitch in for a thank you card as well.

Record-setting pace

Donald may be at or very nearly at a career-high pace for 2020. With just six games on the books, he has already registered 7.5 quarterback sacks, 14 quarterback hits, and 19 tackles. Converting those stats into a full season, Donald is on pace for 21 sacks, 37 quarterback hits, and 51 tackles. Only the 51 tackles would not be career highs.

This is Aaron Donald’s seventh NFL season.  In just 100 games, he has already recorded an incredible 79.5 quarterback sacks. He entered this season in third place for the teams All-Time leader for quarterback sacks with 72.   Since we reported when he rose in the ranks of the team’s All-Time sack leaders, we have gotten feedback that readers would enjoy a list of the teams Top-10 in the category. So here you go.

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Rams All-Time Franchise leaders QB Sacks

Of course, team records only apply to that portion of a player’s career with that team.  Sacks earned while playing for another team are not added to this ranking. That being said, as of October 24, 2020, the LA Rams All-Time Franchise leaders in quarterback sacks are as follows:

Name                        Games           QB Sacks       Tackles           QB Hits          TFL
Leonard Little           147                  87.5                 390                  55                  89
Aaron Donald           100                  79.5                 331                 187               123
Kevin Greene            119                  72.5                 375                   –                      –
Kevin Carter                96                   62.5                 271                   –                     27
Robert Quinn              95                   62.5                 218                 108                 68
Chris Long                   48                   54.5                  246                 102                 73
Gary Jeter                    79                   45                       –                       –                      –
Grant Winstrom         91                   41.5                 286                    –                     55
Mike Wilcher             122                  38.5                   –                        –                      –
DeMarco Farr            100                  36.5                   –                        –                      –
skip to 14th place
Michael Brockers      129                  25                      361                  55                   45

As you can see, Donald has ten games to record eight or more quarterback sacks to set the LA Rams All-Time quarterback sack record for the team.

Of course, Donald can close dramatically with a big game on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. While Nick Foles is a solid quarterback, his standing-tall-in-the-pocket is the perfect type of quarterback for Aaron Donald to get some lofty numbers in the game. Did the ESPN analysts light a match under Donald this season? While there is no doubt that Donald was ripped and ripe, that disrespect likely focused his attention on the task at hand.

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He’s having another Pro-Bowl, All-Pro year, folks. Can the Chicago Bears slow him down? I don’t think so. Look for multiple sacks and a big game against the Bears from Aaron Donald, just an average defensive lineman. Average? Sure, if you only look at the NFL’s elite players.