Cleveland Browns 3 matchups to watch in Week 3 vs. Los Angeles Rams
3. Interior line vs. Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald was awarded his second consecutive NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2018, which is no surprise considering what a dominant player he has been. This past campaign was especially great for Donald who had 59 tackles and 20.5 sacks — which is insane for an interior defender.
So far this season, he hasn’t been racking up the stats as he comes into Week 3 with only two tackles and no sacks to his name. This doesn’t mean he’s not been effective, because he surely has.
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Even without filling up the stat sheet, he’s been impactful for the undefeated Rams as he continues to push the pocket, keeping things muddied up for the opposing quarterback.
He also completely altered the New Orleans Saints season by generating pressure and getting a hand up and interfering with a Drew Brees pass.
That led to a torn ligament in the throwing hand of Brees, who will miss six-eight weeks. Donald was in no way trying to injure anyone, but it shows how he can mess up a team’s plans with one play if he’s not kept away from the signal-caller.
For Cleveland, he needs to be the one player they keep multiple blockers focused on. Donald is too good not to get extra attention, especially if he should end up across from Eric Kush at right guard. In snaps where that happens, J.C. Tretter needs to be ready to throw some attention that way. And if the Browns hope to win this game, they have to keep No. 99 from wreaking too much havoc.