Aaron Donald: Rams star wins Defensive Player of the Year as he eyes Super Bowl MVP | NFL | Sport


The 27-year-old Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle put in a fantastic performance this season as he led the NFL with 20.5 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, and 41 quarterback hits.

The number of sacks he made is a new single-season record for an interior lineman and a new franchise record for the Rams.

Donald is only the eighth player to win multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards and only the third to win it in consecutive seasons.

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt did it in 2014 and 2015 and Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor accomplished the feat in 1981 and 1982, while playing for the New York Giants.

Donald did not attend the awards show in Atlanta as he is preparing with his Los Angeles team-mates to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.

But he has previously said how much winning the awards would mean to him.

“Well, anytime you accomplish something you’re going to be happy, you’re going to be blessed,” Donald said.

“So putting the body of work in and seeing it all pay off, it’s the type of stuff you dream about.

“But I’m just happy and blessed to be at the Super Bowl right now. But definitely a special year thus far.”

Some had Donald in contention to also win the MVP award, but that was taken by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes convincingly won after earning 30 of 50 votes, beating out New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees who had 16.

In his second season in the NFL the 23-year-old had a outstanding season that ended with 43-40 loss to the Patriots.

In the regular season, Mahomes finished with a league-high 50 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions.

He also completed 383 passes in 580 attempts for 5,097 yards and averaged 318.6 yards per game.

As for Donald, he will still have a chance to win the Super Bowl MVP when he goes up against Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Sunday.

The last defensive player to win the MVP award in the finale game of the NFL season was Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller in Super Bowl 50.

Although Brady will have something to say about Donald’s ambitions after having already won the Super Bowl MVP award four times in his career.

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