Aaron Donald is a loving dad. But let’s face it, sometimes you can’t give your kids everything they want.
His daughter wanted him to get 10 sacks in Sunday’s game at San Francisco.
His son was not quite so demanding; he only asked for three.
“I think they’ll be happy with four,” said Donald, the reigning NFL defensive player of the year, who obliterated the 49ers offense in a 39-10 victory with four sacks and six tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Donald has eight sacks this season, bringing his career total to 47. This was the ninth time he had multiple sacks in a game.
“We’ve got to keep getting better, stay hungry, keep this rolling,” Donald said. “Because being 7-0 feels good.”
Feels good? Depends on your perspective.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff, for instance, put himself in the cleats of 49ers counterpart C.J. Beathard, who was on the receiving end of a Donald drubbing.
Said Goff: Been there.
“It’s not great in practice,” he said. “[Donald is] a great player. He’s a once-in-a-generation-type player. We’re lucky to have him on our team. Hopefully, I’ll never play against him.”
Donald is sticking around for a while. After sitting out training camp, he signed a six-year contract extension worth $135 million, with $87 million of that guaranteed.
The Rams had four takeaways on defense, with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, including one that Donald made by ripping the ball away from running back Matt Breida.
“With the offense, we have to just keep feeding and feeding them the ball,” said Donald, whose team’s average drive start was from the Los Angeles 41. “If we do that, they are going to put points on the board. Our offense is so explosive. We know if we give them the ball, good things are going to happen.”
Donald’s performance was a far cry from that at Santa Clara two years ago, when the newl yminted L.A. Rams face-planted out of the gate with a 28-0 loss to the 49ers on “Monday Night Football.”
Donald lost his cool in that game, grabbing San Francisco receiver Quinton Patton by the back of the neck and knocking off his helmet. Then, after making contact with an official, Donald was ejected.
He punctuated his departure by ripping off his own helmet and slamming it to the ground in a rage.
If Donald was angry Sunday, it was controlled anger, focused like the sun through a magnifying glass. Time after time, he wrapped his arms around Beathard, once knocking him over by shoving center Weston Richburg into him.
The Rams finished with seven sacks, but Donald had the majority of them.
“I was like, ‘Damn, I just want one more,’ ” said Rams outside linebacker Samson Ebukam, who finished with one. “This dude over here [Donald] was getting stingy with it.”