7 key players for LA Rams vs Bears on the SNF season opener

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
8 of 8
LA Rams News Rams Schedule Aaron Donald
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive lineman

If you look back to the 2020 game against the Chicago Bears, All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald did not have his typical dominating game. By the time the game had ended, he had three tackles, one quarterback hit and shared a quarterback sack with teammate Greg Gaines.

While that is how it goes sometimes for a defensive lineman who fights multiple blockers on each play, Donald will be fresh as a daisy for this one. In the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, he was a wrecking ball of devastation. It is safe to expect a similar type of opening scene from the Rams star defensive lineman in this opener.

Donald knows that he sets the tone for the defense, and in doing so sets the tone for the game. So he won’t be shy or demure in this one. Look for him to do plenty of carnage-riddled damage upfront, particularly early in the game. This early in the season, even double-teaming Donald is no guarantee to keeping him from sacking the quarterback. And the Bears will be starting veteran Andy Dalton, who will be hard-pressed to ward off rookie Justin Fields this season.

There is a new defensive philosophy under new DC Raheem Morris, but this is the same Aaron Donald who offenses game plan around and who offensive linemen fear and respect. The LA Rams need to win early and often this season, and Donald will have his mind in such a place that he will do everything in his power to make that happen. Donald wins the battle at the line of scrimmage in this one and will get to Dalton more than once.

There is a chance that if Dalton struggles mightily in this one, that the Bears will send out rookie Justin Fields. If that happens, look for Donald to welcome him to the NFL with his own quarterback sack as well.

light. Trending. How low can LA Rams defense go and still make a SB run?

That’s a lot of ground covered for the opener, but that’s how the LA Rams will roll this year. More than ever, this is a team-oriented effort that will need contributions from everyone to be successful.