Rams' Donald revels in SB LIII 'payback' vs. Patriots


Aaron Donald apparently had Thursday night circled on his calendar.

The Rams defensive end admitted earlier in the week that Los Angeles' loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII was a motivating factor entering their Week 14 rematch.

"I try not to think about the loss," Donald said Tuesday, via Greg Beacham of The Associated Press, "but this is definitely a game that's going to give you a little bit more push just for a little payback."

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The Rams accomplished that mission Thursday night, handling the Patriots 24-3 to earn their first win over New England since Nov. 18, 2001.

The result moved the Rams to 9-4 on the season -- and meant Donald could take quick victory lap.

"Obviously, for me personally, it felt a little good just with (getting) payback," Donald told FOX Sports' Erin Andrews in his postgame interview. "But we've just got to keep the ball rolling and keep doing what we're doing, man."

A regular-season win over a .500 Patriots team doesn't exactly balance the scales from a 13-3 loss with an NFL championship on the line, and unfortunately for Donald, they don't hand out trophies for Week 14 wins.

But there's no doubt the All-Pro defensive end was motivated Thursday night: He tallied 1.5 sacks to take the NFL lead with 12.5 on the season while adding a tackle-for-loss and two quarterback hits.


The Rams moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC West with the win, while the 6-7 Patriots now need a miracle to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

If they come up short, expect plenty of celebration from the teams that New England has tortured for the better part of two decades.