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Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Football Outsiders: Get Matthews some help

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

This Football Outsiders Insider piece offers a deep analysis on 2009 pass-rushing totals. Most interesting, at least from an NFC North perspective, was what Aaron Schatz referred to as his "No-Help All-Stars."

This list includes 10 players who led their teams in adjusted quarterback hurries by the greatest percentage over their teams' next-best rusher. In some cases, it's an example of exemplary achievement by the lead rusher. In other cases, it's a sign of substantial dropoff elsewhere.

Tied for No. 9 on the list was Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, whose 21 hurries -- defined by Football Outsiders as pressures that "either cause a hurried throw or prompt offensive holding penalties" -- led the team. Defensive end Cullen Jenkins ranked second with 14 hurries. Matthews' 150-percent increase over Jenkins' total was the ninth-highest discrepancy in the NFL.

I can't give away the store because there is a paywall involved, but for context consider that the Indianapolis Colts' Dwight Freeney led the NFL with 34 adjusted hurries last season. Matthews' total tied him for No. 17.

What does this mean? It's a statistical way of demonstrating what we've discussed a number of times this offseason: The Packers' need to find a consistent pass rusher opposite Matthews in the position once occupied by Aaron Kampman. Some of us thought the Packers would draft a linebacker in the first round, but they understandably jumped on left tackle Bryan Bulaga at No. 23 overall. There were some indications the Packers would seek a veteran free agent at the position, but at this point they appear set to give second-year player Brad Jones a chance there. The shift of B.J. Raji to nose tackle could also produce some additional pressure.

What do you think? Are you satisfied with the current personnel?