Sunday, December 23, 2018

Quite a Day and Quite a Season for Aaron Donald

By John Turney
Aaron Donald extended some records he already held and set some he had been chasing with this three-sack performance in Arizona today.
First up, most sacks by a defensive tackle in his first five seasons in NFL. Donald already held this but is really extending it, now with 58.5 bettering the mark of Keith Millard who had 51 sacks in his first five seasons.
More importantly, he set the single-season sack record for defensive tackles, topping Vikings Keith Millard and Hall of Famer Alan Page

In a related stat, Donald is averaging 1.30 sacks per game with his 19.5 sacks in 15 games. This one he could lose if he goes sackless next week so we will have to wait and see on this to give it finality.
Donald also extended his team record for sacks by a defensive tackle, a record he already held—
Donald also set the modern record (post-1982) for sacks in a season by any Ram, surpassing Robert Quinn's 19 set in 2013. 
He does have some work to set the unofficial all-time record for sacks in a season still held by Deacon Jones
Credit: Los Angeles Rams 2018 Media Guide
Today Donald passed Kevin Carter, Jack Youngblood in addition to Quinn, Alan Page and Keith Millard. Not a bad day's work.

Currently, Donald leads the NFL in sacks and his nearest competitor is 4 sacks behind (Chris Jones with 15.5), which is the third highest margin since sacks became official in 1982. In 1987 Reggie White won the sack title with a margin of 8.5 and in 2001 Michael Strahan won it by 7.5. 

Donald needs 3 sacks to tie Strahan's post-1982 sack record of 22.5 and 3.5 to break that record and he needs 4 to break the all-time record of 23.0 set by Bubba Baker in 1978.

Donald has told reporters he's going to play next week, for all intents and purposes to shoot for the record since the Rams playoff seat in all but determined. So, week 17 will tell if he can break all the records, he's already, in our view, sealed up the APPFWA, and SN Defensive Player of the Year awards and unanimous All-Pro selections from those organizations as well as others. So, the sack records are all that are left for 2018—aside from the most important thing, the Super Bowl ring.

One final note:  Donald was the AP Defensive Player of the Year last year. He has more sacks in 2018 than he had in 2016 and 2017 combined.


  1. Hello, great article as usual! Correct me if I'am wrong but didn't Reggie White have 18 sacks as a DT in 1986?

  2. He played some DT early but was moved to DE by mid-season as Darby was benched and Singletary was inserted as a DT. So, White played too much edge to be considered a defensive tackle for that year.

  3. You think Alan Page and Randy White would be putting up sack numbers like Donald is given that there is much more passing now?

    1. yes, I think they would fit in great with today's NFL