LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WROC) — The number one chore when going against the Rams is trying to somehow slow down star defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
One benefit for the Bills is having plenty of blockers who know exactly what they are in for Thursday night.
“He’s got the quickness with the power. A lot of times if a guy has some quickness, maybe they’re not as strong,” said offensive guard Rodger Saffold, who was Donald’s teammate in Los Angeles for three seasons from 2016-18. “So you got to anchor a little bit better. But with him, he has the quickness and the power and his get-off is unmatched.”
“He’s a relentless competitor, a remarkable player,” said center Mitch Morse. “From play one to play 75, his intensity is the same.”
“It begins to turn into a chess match because it’s like, what is he going to do? How are you going to attack it based on where he is?” said Saffold. “For us, it’s just constantly, ‘How and I going to be efficient? How can I give Josh one more second to get rid of the ball?”
Josh Allen has faced Donald once in his career, back in 2021. The Bills won the game 35-32, but Donald wreaked havoc with two sacks, three QB hits, three tackles for a loss, and a fumble recovery.
“He’s one of one and I think everybody knows that,” said Allen. “Scary to watch the film of him and knowing that you’ve got to go in with a plan.”
You’d think that plan would include picking the brain of Donald’s former teammate Von Miller. But even with all his pass rush knowledge, all Miller can offer is a shrug and a laugh.
“There is no secret. There’s nothing I can say,” said Miller with a smile. “There is no weakness. I can’t sit here and say ‘if you’ll do this [you’ll have success]’ … it’s Aaron Donald.”
“I’d be setting them up for failure if I tell them, if you just do this, you’ll be alright,” added Miller. “He’s good at everything.”
“It’s going to be a team effort inside there with Donald and trying to get him to stay where he is for once,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “You watch it in the division when they play, it’s 60 minutes of straining.”
Even the team effort plan has drawbacks. Josh Allen pointed out Donald sees so many double teams, he’s good at solving that too. All the Bills can do is take their best swing.
“It’s such a big challenge,” said Saffold. “You either embrace it or sit down.”