INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Aaron Donald already owns one of the most decorated careers in NFL history, but the Rams defensive lineman offered a simple but powerful reminder of the one thing he was still chasing by tapping his left ring finger multiple times.
I want my (Super Bowl) ring.
Donald finally crossed it off his list with the Rams' 23-20 Super Bowl LVI victory over the Bengals at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.
"It's like, finally, mission complete," Donald said postgame.
The Rams had just taken a 23-20 on what would be their third game-winning drive of the playoffs and needed a stop on the ensuing series. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow quickly moved them to midfield with a pair of completions to top targets Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.
However, after an incompletion to Chase and running back Samaje Perine got stuffed at the line of scrimmage Cincinnati's last gasp would come down to a 4th and 1 from the Los Angeles 49.
That's when Rams head coach Sean McVay called Donald's shot.
"When it was the fourth down, and you could see they got into the shotgun and they were probably not going to run the football, I said, 'Aaron's going to close the game out right here,'" McVay said. "And he is the F'IN man."
Indeed, Donald pressure Burrow into an errant pass out of reach of Perine's arms, resulting in a turnover on downs.
"He's just rushing man," Rams outside linebacker Von Miller said. "We've been doing what we were doing great all year."
When Donald did just as he did in the NFC Championship – creating game-clinching pressure – but in the Super Bowl, his celebration was fitting.
"Ring me!" he yelled, tapping the same finger as two weeks earlier. "Ring me!"