There has been growing talk of Aaron Donald’s pursuit of the NFL’s sack record. However, it appears he has not entertained the thought.
Donald solidified that notion with a dominant performance versus the Detroit Lions in Week 13. He said during his postgame interview with Tom Pelissero of NFL Network that he is not focused on the record:
“I’m just playing football,” Donald said. “Just stay trying to play at a high level, keep trying to make plays to help my team to win and whatever happens, happens. I’m just going out there, flying around playing.”
It is difficult to gauge whether Donald truly has not given any thought about the record. Michael Strahan currently owns the mark with 22.5 sacks. Donald has already registered 16.5 with four games left in the season. Given how he has performed over the last several weeks, it is safe to say that the record is well within reach barring injury.
Regardless, it is clear that Donald is focused on doing what he does best. The Rams finally awarded the reigning Defensive Player of the Year with one of the most lucrative contracts in the league. Yet, he has still somehow managed to give them plenty of bang for their buck this season. Not only does he lead the league in sacks, but he also paces the NFL with 20 tackles for loss and 32 quarterback hits.
One would have been hard-pressed to imagine Donald would be in a position to potentially break the sack record at the beginning of the year. He got off to a slow start this season after not recording his first sack until Week 4. Perhaps even more impressive is that he has put up such monstrous numbers as an interior lineman as opposed to an edge rusher like Strahan. All eyes will be on whether or not Donald can stay on pace down the final stretch of the season.