Monday, September 17, 2012
Clay Matthews' start in context
By Kevin Seifert
Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews has opened the season with six sacks in his first two games, and for whatever reason the national reaction has fallen somewhere near "ho-hum." Why? As you surely know, this isn't the first time Matthews has accomplished the feat, and perhaps some of us are a bit numb to the achievement.
So for what it's worth, I want to bring you the context of what Matthews has done. As the chart shows, he is one of only six players in NFL history to get six or more sacks in the first two games of a season. Matthews is the only player to do it more than once.
I poked my head briefly into Matthews' session with reporters after Thursday night's 23-10 victory over the Chicago Bears, a game in which he terrorized Bears left tackle J'Marcus Webb and reminded future opponents how foolish it can be to leave him matched up one-on-one with anything other than a Pro Bowl left tackle. Matthews was in deflection mode, saying: "Fortunately, I've got a good young group of talent around me." But whatever the cause, it's clear that Matthews has re-established his presence after a down year (6.0 sacks in 2011) by his standards.
And NFC North fans might be interested to note that the Packers' next opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, played Sunday without left tackle Russell Okung (knee). Former Chicago Bears turnstile Frank Omiyale started at left tackle for the Seahawks. It's unclear if Okung will be ready for the Sept. 24 matchup between the teams.
Related: Matthews said last month that the Packers' pass rush "is back."