Two years ago, the Los Angeles Rams made a deep postseason run. Aaron Donald believes his squad can duplicate that success this year.
"Confident," he responded when asked how he's feeling about this year's team. "I think we have all the pieces to the puzzle. I think we are playing lights out on defense and our offense is doing things to a point where they can manage games and still make things happen to help us win. So, when you have that, you're definitely going into it confident. I feel like we're in a position to get to where we want to get to, we just have to go week-by-week and just dominate."
L.A. starts its playoff slate with a rubber-match against division rival Seattle.
The Rams boast the NFL's top defense, a smothering unit that ranks first in total yards allowed, total points allowed, passing yards given up, has allowed the fewest big plays and the lowest yards per play figure, ranks second in sacks, and third in rushing yards allowed.
The offense has questions given the hand injury to Jared Goff and the on-again-off-again run game. The defense, however, is talented enough to keep the Rams in any game.
Donald was asked if the dawn of this year's playoffs felt like two years ago.
"Yes, but it's a different team," he said, via the team's official transcript. "So, you're still confident, but I will say the confidence is in a different type of way. I think the defense we have now is a little bit more stout, a little bit more consistent. Not taking anything from the defense we had in 2018, it just comes down to being consistent. That's what it's about in this league. You have to be consistent. You have to do it week-in and week-out and I think we've been doing that. So, having a group like that, that's be doing that going into the playoffs, it makes you that much more confident."
Unlike the 2018 run, the Rams won't have a first-round bye to help them through the process. It will take three postseason wins for Donald's crew to return to the Super Bowl.
In splitting the season series with the Seahawks, the Rams' defense has been dominant, holding Russell Wilson to fewer than 250 passing yards in each contest. In the Week 16 loss to Seattle -- in which Goff suffered the injury -- L.A. held the Seahawks to 20 points, 292 yards and 15 first downs. The offense, however, put up just three field goals and the QB threw a key interception. Expect Saturday's matchup to be another tight battle in Seattle that should go down to the wire.