Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews is entering just his
second season, yet he’s already being talked about as one of the next potentially great defensive players in the game.
As a rookie, Matthews finished with 10 quarterback sacks. Through the first two games this season, Matthews has 6 already. He could be in store for another big night tonight, facing the Chicago Bears and their right tackle Kevin Schaefer. Schaefer has 91 starts as a starter in Atlanta, Cleveland and Chicago, but his days are well past him. He’s starting because Bears starter Chris Williams went down with a hamstring injury last week in a win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Matthews’ 16 tackles, 12 of them solo and 7 of them for loss, rank first on the team. He also has a pass breakup and a forced fumble as well.
Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Matthews is equally good against the run and the pass. At 255 lbs., Matthews can dominate an offensive tackle and cover a running back or tight end.
The Bears will likely try to give help on Matthews, but what they don’t know is where he’s going to line up.
Of Matthews’ six sacks, two have come from the left, two from the middle and two from the right.
Linebackers coach Kevin Greene said the idea behind this defense is for the outside linebackers to make plays. And Clay Matthews hasn’t disappointed.
Matthews is on pace for 48 sacks this season, but he’s not going to be able to keep up that pace. But when Matthews isn’t sacking the quarterback, he’s likely going to be opening things up for his teammates to make some big plays.