The Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints face off on Sunday for the first time since last January’s NFC Championship Game.
While the majority of attention will be on the botched pass interference non-call on the Rams’ Nickell Robey-Coleman that robbed superstar quarterback Drew Brees of a chance to play in his second Super Bowl, there will also be focus on the extraordinary talent on the two rosters.
Brees will have to deal with the Rams’ Aaron Donald, the two-time reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Donald has recorded two sacks and 10 quarterback hits in his career against Brees and the Saints, including their postseason matchup last year.
However, while bad blood lingers from the no-call in the NFC championship, Brees has nothing but respect for Donald, per Mike Triplett of ESPN:
Tremendous praise for Rams DT Aaron Donald from Drew Brees. “I don’t even have names for all the moves he can do to get to the quarterback. You cannot block him with one guy. … He’s such an impact player, he can change a game. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anybody like him.”
— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) September 11, 2019
Brees and Donald are both in the midst of careers that are vaulting them into the lists of the NFL’s greatest to ever play their respective positions.
After starting his career with the San Diego Chargers, Brees blossomed into a Hall-of-Fame talent with the Saints. He became an instrumental force in the New Orleans community as they rebuilt from the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
He contributed to the city’s healing while on the field as well, bringing the first major professional sports championship to New Orleans in Super Bowl XLIV.
He continues to be an effective quarterback even past his physical prime. Brees currently holds the NFL all-time records for most career passing yards and completions as well as highest completion percentage.
As for Donald, Brees echoes the consensus opinion on the Rams’ All-Pro pass rusher. Donald is considered a generational talent at his position. His 20.5 sacks last season were the most in the NFL and also set a new Rams franchise record.
Donald also led the league with 25 tackles for a loss in 2018. He won his second consecutive DPOY award that year in a landslide.
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