The NFL revised the roughing the passer rule as a poorly thought out reaction to Aaron Rodgers’s broken collarbone last season, and so far it’s resulted in flags for a bunch of routine sacks and one season-ending injury for a defensive player. Aaron Donald, a neutron star who happens to play as a defensive lineman for the Rams, has figured out a way to avoid flags for “putting his body weight on the quarterback”: Just fling him like a sack of potatoes.
This was the first play of the Vikings’ final drive in Thursday’s game against the Rams. Minnesota had the ball with enough time and timeouts to drive down the field and tie. Then, Donald got a hold of 6-foot-3, 202-pound quarterback Kirk Cousins and threw him down like it was nothing.
The Vikings’ drive ended three plays later on a sack-fumble by John Franklin-Myers, sealing the Rams’ 38-31 win. This pass-rushing strategy will work for any player on defense, so long as he is as brolic as Aaron Donald.