Aaron Donald is one of the most imposing defenders to ever play in the NFL, and he proved that yet again on Sunday.
While facing the Seattle Seahawks in the 2023 season opener, the 6-foot-1, 280-pound Donald rushed Seattle quarterback Geno Smith on a 3rd and 4 deep in Los Angeles territory. Coming off a stunt, the defensive tackle was unblocked and headed straight for Smith.
Smith's reaction was about what you would expect from any sensible person. A field mic picked up Smith yelling "Oh my God!" as Donald came barreling down on him in the pocket.
What a QB yells when Aaron Donald is coming at him: pic.twitter.com/nr1dtLI2rV
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 10, 2023
Smith was able to get the pass away just in time, but it fell incomplete across the middle of the field. The Seahawks would score on a 42-yard field goal from Jason Myers on the next play to take a 13-7 lead over Donald and the Rams.
Donald is entering his tenth season with the Rams organization. The 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has flirted with retirement the past few seasons but is still one of the most productive defensive players in the league at the age of 32.
Smith being able to get rid of the ball before Donald got to him prevented the QB from being the 104th sack of Donald's Hall-of-Fame caliber career.
The timing of this encounter is quite ironic as Donald's Pitt Panthers will head to West Virginia this upcoming Saturday to face Smith's alma mater of West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl, one of the most historic rivalries in college football.
The two NFC West rivals are battling with the San Francisco 49ers for the divisional crown in what is expected to be one of the more competitive divisional races in the NFL this season. The two teams will meet again Week 11 in Los Angeles on November 19.
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