Joe Burrow ‘woke up’ the beast in Aaron Donald in Super Bowl LVI

Kristen Wong
Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams sacks Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams sacks Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Don’t poke the belly of a beast that is Rams’ Aaron Donald. The Cincinnati Bengals did just that in Super Bowl LVI and got taught a very memorable lesson.

The Bengals lost to the Rams 23-20 in their third Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, but the score isn’t the only number that will haunt the team for years to come.

Seven. Seven sacks is how many times Joe Burrow got stuffed by the Rams, and none other than Aaron Donald produced two of them, including the sack that effectively ended the game.

Donald recently spoke with Peter King about some of his best moments in the Super Bowl and referred to an incident with Burrow that nearly caused an on-field brawl.

At the start of the second half, Cincinnati was rolling. After the Bengals scored that controversial Higgins touchdown and nabbed an interception, the momentum had shifted to the Bengals’ side, and the team was leading by four crucial points. Burrow had just sustained an offensive drive into the Rams’ 31-yard line and wanted — needed — to increase that lead.

On a second and 10, Burrow sprinted out of the pocket toward the sidelines, and Aaron Donald caught up to him and shoved him out of bounds.

Donald told King:

"“Actually, Burrow was the one, he looked at me, like, ‘Hey Aaron, that was a clean play.’ The quarterback told me that! 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!”"

Cincinnati Bengals and Joe Burrow provoked Aaron Donald in turning point of Super Bowl LVI

Though Burrow himself conceded it was a clean play, his Bengals teammates considered Donald’s hit a low blow and thus started the trash-talk. Right guard Hakeem Adeniji said a few things Donald didn’t like, and on the following play, Donald absolutely humiliated him.

Donald plowed Adeniji seven yards back directly into Burrow and proceeded to wrap his arms around the Bengals QB and bring him to the ground.

Donald’s sack on that play forced the Bengals to settle for a field goal, keeping it a one-score game.

"“That number 77, he did a little talking, so I wanted to show him how strong I was…You wanna start pushing and saying all these words to me? I like a little competition. We can play mean. Let’s play mean. I had to show them. They got three points out of it, but off a short-field turnover, we fought.”"

Cincy failed to score any points after that, and the Rams went on to win a ring. Adeniji has since swallowed whatever he had to say to Donald, and he probably wishes he hadn’t provoked the beast.

Either way, Donald was going to Donald. That damned offensive line was never going to keep Burrow upright, and God knows the Bengals have now learned their lesson.

Next. Ranking Joe Burrow and all 32 NFL quarterbacks from 2021 season. dark

All bark and no bite makes for very dull offensive linemen. Take heed.