The Cincinnati Bengals made a handful of key mistakes in their Super Bowl LVI loss last weekend.
One of the bigger ones was adding more fuel to the fire of arguably the Los Angeles Rams’ best player.
Aaron Donald recently chatted with NBC Sports’ Peter King and recalled what he thought at various points throughout the Los Angeles Rams’ championship victory at SoFi Stadium. Included was a play when the three-time Defensive Player of the Year knew he was about to take his game to the next level.
Shortly after the Bengals grabbed the momentum with a 75-yard Tee Higgins touchdown and an interception on the Rams’ next drive, Donald drew the ire of Cincinnati when he shoved a scrambling Joe Burrow. It was a clean play — the Bengals QB even acknowledged as much — but the AFC champions still decided to get in Donald’s face.
“Actually, Burrow was the one, he looked at me, like, ‘Hey Aaron, that was a clean play.’ The quarterback told me that!” Donald told King. “I feel everybody start pushing me, hitting me. I almost lost it. The refs were like, Aaron, get out of here. They (the Bengals) already got me mad. Now they want to push on me, say all these words to me.
“You just woke me up. You just woke me up!”
Had it not been for a brilliant showing from Cooper Kupp, Donald might have earned Super Bowl LVI honors. The eight-time Pro Bowl selection finished with four total tackles, two sacks and three QB hits, including a game-sealing pressure on Burrow.