LA Rams version of ‘1-yard short’? ‘Aaron Donald’s gonna make a play here’

Mandatory Credit Feb 13 2022 Albert Cesare 2686
Mandatory Credit Feb 13 2022 Albert Cesare 2686 /
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LA Rams News Aaron Donald
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

‘Aaron Donald’s gonna make a play’

The LA Rams had a similar experience in Super Bowl LVI. This time the margin of victory was just three points. Once more, the opposing quarterback got the snap with time running out. This time it was the Cincinnati Bengals, with a fourth down and one yard to go with just 43 seconds remaining on the clock. If Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow connects and the Bengals receiver can stop the clock, it’s a brand new football game.

Tensions rose.

But so did hope. This was the type of moment that births NFL legendary status. Would the hero in this one be second-year quarterback Joe Burrow? Or could LA Rams legendary defensive lineman Aaron Donald exert his will in this game one more time?

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One final play

The game, the NFC Championship came down to one play. Fourth and one, the words hung in the air, clinging to the moment in time and space, shutting down what would come next until LA Rams head coach Sean McVay uttered a prophecy that would go down as one of the most iconic Super Bowl plays in the history of the game.

“Aaron Donald’s gonna make a play.”

It seemed not to be an utterance of hope, of a future forecast. The words spilled out of Coach McVay as though he had already witnessed the feat from the future, and was simply reporting back to the past at its occurrence.

Aaron Donald makes plays, plenty of them. But that tends to attract the attention of offensive coordinators, who then direct multiple offensive linemen to block Donald. Not just two. Sometimes three. Sometimes four.