Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky remembers the game plan from Week 14 very well. That's because it was relatively simple.
Stop No. 99.
The Rams were in Chicago that week, and Trubisky was facing the best defensive player in the NFL, Aaron Donald. Trubisky said at the Pro Bowl that if the Bears could slow down or limit the defensive tackle then they had a better chance to win.
Donald, who led the NFL with 20.5 sacks this season, only had two total tackles and no sacks. The Bears won the game 15-6.
"It's scary," Trubisky said of Donald. "You just have to know where he's at all the time. You have to have a good game plan to either chip him, double team him and even triple team him so he's not causing havoc and wrecking your game plan. He's a really good player, and you have to respect where he's at all the time."
While Chicago was able to contain Donald, he was still a dominant force in 2018. He earned first-team all-pro honors for a fourth straight year, and he will likely win his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award. Only Lawrence Taylor previously accomplished that feat in 1981-82, becoming the first player to win the award in back-to-back years.
Like Taylor, Donald is set to become the second player in NFL history with more than 20 sacks to play in a Super Bowl when the Rams meet the Patriots on Sunday. Taylor also had 20.5 sacks in 1986 when the Giants beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XXI.
And now, Donald is Tom Brady's problem to deal with in Super Bowl LIII. Good luck.
Super Bowl LIII is Sunday, Feb. 3, in Atlanta and it will air on CBS and streamed here on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App for free on most connected devices.
"He's just the best I've seen at that position," Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said at the Pro Bowl. "I can't say enough good things about him. He's just the best in the business."
Like most quarterbacks, Brady struggles when dealing with pressure, especially up the middle. According to the NFL Media Research Department, Brady has a 118.7 passer rating when he faces pressure from the edge this season, including the playoffs. But when he gets interior pressure, Brady's passer rating is 63.1.
The Rams defense, behind Donald and Ndamukong Suh, leads the NFL in interior pressure rate at 16.6 percent.
"He's a really talented player," Falcons center Alex Mack said of Donald. "He's really quick. He's definitely someone you have to highlight when you play him because you need to make sure he doesn't ruin the game. He's got power and speed, and that's a bad combination."
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Now, getting to Brady isn't easy. In two playoff games against the Chargers and Chiefs, Brady wasn't sacked on 90 pass attempts. And that was a Kansas City defense that tied for first in the NFL in sacks this season with 52.
Brady also is among the league leaders in getting the ball out of his hands quickly. According to Pro Football Focus, Brady averages 2.42 seconds on each pass attempt, which is the fourth-fastest in the NFL. Not bad for a 41-year-old quarterback.
But stopping Donald isn't going to be easy either. Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia will likely have a solid game plan, and it will be up to New England center David Andrews and guards Joe Tunney and Shaq Mason to keep Donald away from Brady.
Mack, who has faced Donald three times in his career, offered some advice.
"Just be precise," Mack said. "You want to get double teams on him because he is really talented. Watch a lot of film and be ready for a lot of hand games but then also stay within your technique. Be ready to take on whatever he throws at you.
"He's just really fast, and he never stops going. He's really efficient with his movement. When he swipes at your hands, you don't have a lot of time to recover at all. You want to make sure you're covering him up, using your hands and not lunging or cheating or anything. He requires you to have a very clean game."
Trubisky also had some words of wisdom for Brady.
"Just have a game plan of where he's at," Trubisky said. "You see the plays he makes on film, and you're pretty amazed at what he's able to do."
The matchup between Donald and Brady, as well as the Patriots offensive line, is going to be fascinating in Super Bowl LIII. It could be the deciding factor in the game.
And let's not forget that Donald will also have a role in trying to slow down the Patriots running game, which is led by Sony Michel. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon said his focus in Week 3 against the Rams was keeping an eye on Donald all the time.
"He's a dog," Gordon said. "You have to account for him for every play otherwise he'll make you pay."
Whether it's in the passing game or running game, Donald will be a focal point this week for the Patriots. They will try their best to stop No. 99.
And Donald is going to try and cause havoc and wreck New England's game plan. If he does that, the Rams have a great chance to become Super Bowl champions.