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Gut Reactions: Week Three

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Gut Reactions: Week Three

  • Another mess of a game against the Bears. The Packers should have won by quite a bit more but couldn't stop shooting themselves in the foot.
  • Really worried about that Bulaga injury.
  • What in the world got into Ryan Grant today? The guy had great vision and seemed tailor made to run the ball against this Bears defense.
  • James Starks? Um, just the opposite.
  • Greg Jennings is unstoppable.
  • As is Jermichael Finley.
  • Unless, of course, Brian Urlacher baits your quarterback into an interception. Phenomenal play by Urlacher.
  • What was with all the pre-snap penalties on the offensive line? Again. Is it in the water in Chicago?
  • Yesterday, Bob McGinn Tweeted that Ted Thompson "loves" Charlie Peprah as a starter. I responded that the Packers were playing with fire in the passing game. Today was exactly what I was talking about.
  • On the other side of the field - Morgan Burnett looks good, extremely athletic. I think he surprised Cutler with his range on that first interception.
  • Clay Matthews is either hurt or not as good as we think he is.
  • Marshal Newhouse had a hell of a game. The Bears had Peppers line up on him for a good portion of the game and he more than held his own.
  • Sam Shields needs to get more physical. Period.
  • All-in-all, great victory for the Packers. On to Lambeau and the Broncos.
  • Like Like
  • 4 points

Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (128) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackersRS's picture

"What in the world got into Ryan Grant today? The guy had great vision and seemed tailor made to run the ball against this Bears defense."

Mudder. That's my theory for Grant and I'm sticking to it.

MarkinMadison's picture

Good as any for why Grant was good. But Starks, well, you guys asked why he hadn't supplanted Grant already. Between the missed blitz assignments (not in this game, but in others), being indecisive on some runs, and a fumble that looked like he just wasn't protecting the ball, let me ask if he just has not arrived mentally yet.

PackersRS's picture

Yeah, after the 2008 playoffs against the Seahawks, in that snow, and then the game Grant had against the Bears late 2009 it got to me. Grant always plays wells in bad field situations and when defenses are tired, because he has great vision but he's not very quick. When the D is impaired and is not as fast as normally he can get to the holes before they reach, and he usually makes good reads.

As for Starks, it's too bad because he seems like a great guy, not cocky, always humble. But he does sound immature sometimes.

fishandcrane's picture

Starks tried to do too much. He's a super bowl champion- he can relax a bit- at 24 and do his job-keep his small frustrations out of the present--

Well done Ryan. So many here had you in the junk yard.

Nerdmann's picture

Agreed. I thought he might have been trying to hard. Props to Grant though, great game.

BadgerDave's picture

We have to start a facebook group to save Mike Martz's job.

shoegal12's picture

I usually agree with your Reactions, but Clay Matthews is hurt or not as good as we thought he was?..I can't believe you even typed that sentence.

bigfog's picture

Have you watched any of the games this year? He simply cannot win one on one battles anymore. Two weeks in a row, he's gone up against scrubs at the tackle position and time and time again, he fails to get to the quarterback. And don't even go to the "he's double/triple teamed" because it is not true. Watch the tape. Eaten alive. Dude needs to wake up. Completely different player from the one we saw last year.

CSS's picture

"Eaten alive?"

Watch the tape indeed...

Oppy's picture

can't win One on ones?

Eaten alive?

I agree with CSS and disagree with Nagler- Clay Matthews was a beast today IMO. Didn't get sacks, but he certainly wasn't just being eaten alive in one-on-ones.

He was being doubled and/or chipped all day, and he was still collapsing the pocket, getting hands on Cutler while throwing, or forcing Cutler to get rid of the ball.

I don't know whether it was Buck or Aikman who said it during the game; but Matthews ALWAYS has to be accounted for, he's always a force, and the questions shouldn't be pointed at him; they should be pointed at the other guys who are coming off the edge or up the gut who should be isolated in one-on-ones because Clay is demanding doubles all the time...

PackersRS's picture

He is. It really worries me. He still has all the amazing instincts, he's still a great tackler and still has his speed, but the power is not there.

He is hurt, though, and he did lose weight in the offseason.

I really think that he's more hurt than it's told, because loss of weight could be a result of him not being able to work out properly.

I don't know about PEDs. Don't know what the stoppage would do to a player, if he would lose just power or also become slower, which Matthews isn't.

Whatever it is, I hope it gets fixed. Soon. As great as a secondary we have, just with Raji's push and an ocasional appearance of Wynn and Walden we won't go very far.

We have still a very good D, and a clutch one, don't get me wrong. And the offense's bad day is 27 points.

But we kinda need Neal and more production from Matthews. And it's really unfair, because he's not playing badly, not even close. But he's not completely dominating as he used to.

CSS's picture

Call me crazy, but there were several plays that the Bears fully anticipated and game-planned for on the offensive side.

Is Capers becoming more predictable? Too soon to tell, but I couldn't believe how well the Bears adjusted on several occasions. They knew what was coming.

PackersRS's picture

They have played each other 6 games. Of course they know very well our tendencies for every play.

We know theirs too. Rodgers got them for that 3rd TD to Finley cause he knew what was the alignment.

PackersRS's picture

And, again, we're complaining because they put ONLY 27 at the worst field in the NFL, against a GREAT defense.

BrianD's picture

I laughed at 2 points during the game: Finley's 3rd TD and when Matthews hit Culter's arm as he was throwing.

fishandcrane's picture

Matthews, "not as good"? Right. He's great. But if he an't break being triple teamed at times- his numbers may be down- but his value continues to soar.

Stephen's picture

"Clay Matthews is either hurt or not as good as we think he is."

Or it's the double teams he puts up with every play (which allows guys like Wynn to get easy sacks). Duh.

packeraaron's picture

"Or it’s the double teams he puts up with every play" - this is not even remotely close to true. I swear, fans have CGI players put into their feeds. Guy is not winning one-on-ones. Period.

some guy's picture

why are people stuck on Matthews? he drew at least 2 holds, had 3 tfl and batted a pass. he's getting doubled the majority of snaps.

what do you expect. other teams know they need to stop him first and foremost. they game plan to stop him.

Wynn getting sacks is a direct result. ugh

PackersRS's picture

Because we need more from Matthews than Very Good.

mark's picture

There's nothing wrong with Clay. We're three games in. And he was buzzing around the football all day today. It seems like this blog is always pressing the panic button: "What's wrong with ____?" Usually, we learn, the answer is nothing. Sometimes people are injured, sometimes they just have a bad game. Take Starks for example. I happen to agree with Nagler's post last week. He is the more skilled of our two running backs. He's the future. He should start. I agree with all this. But after today, do we abandon that? Is Grant now better? Does 1 off day erase Starks' highlights of week 1 and 2? Does it erase his impressive playoff run last year? Of course not. My point is that we need to stop freaking out every time a star player has an off game, or a sub par stretch. For the love of God, Clay Matthews is who we thought he was. 3-0. Bring on the Broncos.

packsmack25's picture


FITZCORE1252's picture


Lumpy Gravy's picture

"For the love of God, Clay Matthews is who we thought he was. 3-0. Bring on the Broncos."

I'll buy that.

Bodman's picture

you sound like CM3 should beat every 1:1 opportunity he has. what elite pass rusher do you know does that? I don't recall hearing Julius Pepper's name being called much during the game and I doubt if you could find any players or coaches that would label him "not that good"

packeraaron's picture

"I doubt if you could find any players or coaches that would label him “not that good”

Indeed. Nor bloggers - since that's not even remotely what I've said or written.

Did you watch the Colts/Steelers game last night? Did you watch Dwight Freeney? He almost single handedly won that game for the Colts. THAT is an elite pass rusher. RIGHT NOW - Matthews is a very good football player. There's a difference.

eskymo83's picture

Loosing one on ones? How about the shoulder dip to bury Forte for a big loss too!

packeraaron's picture

From Ty Dunne's post game chat over at JSOnline:

(Matthews) was solid against the run and certainly forced some plays into the middle but he was a nonfactor rushing the passer. Frank Omiyale, Gabe Carimi's replacement, really kept Matthews at bay. Even though he's getting doubled a lot this season, Matthews should have more than one sack.

I agree with every word.

mark's picture


Yeah, Dwight Freeney was dominant last night, no doubt about it. But is Dwight Freeney that dominant every single game? No, he isn't. Sometimes he gets doubled, sometimes he's injured. Well guess what? Same for Clay. Clay's had many games like Freeney did last night, but right now, as many people have pointed out, he has a quad injury. Give me a break man, it's 3 games. Dude is hurt. Why are we talking about his play as if he's 100% but just not winning his one-on-one's, or just not dominating the way Freeney does.

Clay Matthews is playing through an injury. It's not a secret either. So that's all you have to say. To suggest that he's "not as good as we think he is" -- that's where you go off the tracks. That's why people are reacting the way they are.

packeraaron's picture

"To suggest that he’s “not as good as we think he is” — that’s where you go off the tracks."

How? By saying he possibly, maybe, perhaps, just MIGHT not be the super star Packer fans have anointed him to be? Why is suggesting that maybe, JUST maybe, he's not living up to advanced billing grounds for a barrage of defensive vitriol?

Notice I have never ONCE said "Matthews is terrible" "Matthews can't play" "Matthews isn't playing well" - no. My crime is SUGGESTING that something is up.

And my only point in bringing up Ty's comment is to show fans that I'm not alone in my thinking. That's all. It's me, Ty and Cow42 against the world. ;)

mark's picture

Maybe instead of question what's wring with the guy, maybe instead we give Clay his props for playing through an injury and to be as disruptive as he was on Sunday despite the injury.

Whatever though. I'll be happy in a few weeks when this quad thing goes away, Clay starts dominating again, and this blog has moved on to the next Packer to have an off game/injury.

packeraaron's picture

"...this blog has moved on to the next Packer to have an off game/injury."

Like my post about how well Scott Wells is playing? No one focuses on that though, do they...

mark's picture

"By saying he possibly, maybe, perhaps, just MIGHT not be the super star Packer fans have anointed him to be? Why is suggesting that maybe, JUST maybe, he’s not living up to advanced billing grounds for a barrage of defensive vitriol?"

Because, quite frankly, it's a dumb thing to say. Dude has been killing the league since the day he was drafted. You're going to question all of that dominance based on 3 games where he's been playing through an injury? And that doesn't strike you as dumb?

packeraaron's picture

Ah yes. Blind homerism. Carry on, carry on.

mark's picture

What part of "playing through an injury" do you not get?

MarkinMadison's picture

The real "duh" is why the Bears bother to go hire the coordinator of the "greatest show on turf" when they play on a field that no high school team would put up with.

PackersRS's picture

I honestly cannot figure out the Bears and the Vikings.

Those are two absolutely horribly ran organizations, but yet they can find moments of really good football.

They do so many things wrong that it somehow ends up working.

Not all the way, of course.

CSS's picture

When did Starks develop this wasted motion with that little jump-cut he takes to attempt a side-step on tacklers? Plant your foot and get vertical, it's what you're good at. He looked awful as a byproduct. Simply awful. Coaches need to correct that on Monday.

As for Matthews, he drew 3 holding penalties and was disruptive. He's not closing like he did, I agree with that. But he hasn't disappeared by any means.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Yeah, Clay's sack #'s are down, but I think some people are jumping the shark here.

"Clay Matthews is either hurt or not as good as we think he is."
Dude, he's got a quad injury, I think that means he is hurt. Yet he's still making his presence felt as CSS outlined. It's a long season, simma down now.


Jeremy's picture

That tackle of Forte in the back field was pretty nice. Other guys on the line need to step up or teams will keep pushing their protection to Matthews side.

On another note McCarthy has finally learned his lesson. When Newhouse came in he a lot of help until he was comfortable. MM blew this one when Colledge and Bulaga came in a T for the first time.

"Sam Shields needs to get more physical. Period."

His dive (I won't even call that a tackle) at Kellen Davis on the TD had wuss written all over it.

PackersRS's picture

The Bears were doing a GREAT job at attacking the line of scrimmage exactly in the point of attack of the run.

Starks is not very agile laterally, and he doesn't have great vision.

When he's "re-routed" he's not very effective.

Or something like that.

FITZCORE1252's picture

James Jones is just a STUPID football player. Did it in the SB and again today... when it's time to run clock...he runs out of bounds. Just STUPID.

Good win on the road against a team that plays us hard game-in and game-out. 3-0 in Conference play, gotta like that. What a choke job by the queens... the one time I want them to win.

Brian Caribou, sorry your bares lost.

Oh, and Cow42 where are youuuuuu?


CSS's picture

3 straight weeks with the Vikings blowing huge, huge leads. That team is going to lay down.

Yes, 3-0. Two wins on the road. Never underestimate road-wins. The Falcons stink on the road, they lack balance.

Saints lack playmakers on defense and can't play a 4 quarters of consistant football.

Eagles ain't no dream team. Paying Vick early was a mistake.

Out of all the 'contenders' the Packer look better built to win on the road, at home and in all phases during November, December and January.

PackersRS's picture

The Vikings are the most hilarious team in all of football, and it's not close.

el handro's picture

Jones didn't actually go out of bounds although it strangely looked like was trying to. The Bears called a time out on that play and the announcers were incorrect.

Bearmeat's picture

No Fitz, Cow42 has some concerns. They are legit concerns.

Pass D was shredded today - by a subpar offense. Again.

Wynn was good, and Raji beat some double teams.

Clay has not been a playmaker.

Once again we have a problem with injuries.

Yes, this is still the best team in the conference. Yes, there are concerns.

PackersRS's picture

"Pass D was shredded today – by a subpar offense. Again."

Let's stop with that. Just stop with that. For the second week they held the opposing QB to below 80 QB rating, which, in this day and age, is a great day for a D. And they allowed THIRTEEN FREAKING YARDS on the run. And most of that was in garbage time!

So let's stop with this idiotic "shredder" thing.

And don't you give me no "they played badly but they got lucky on turnovers" thing.

It isn't lucky when it's top 3 each and every year.

Oppy's picture

While certainly not as profound as this year thus far, if you look at last year's defense, the Packers also gave up yardage, allowing opposing offenses to move the ball between the 20's, but they really hunker down in the red zone.

In short, Dom Capers himself has said the only stat that (really) matters is scoring allowed.

Do you want the 3 and outs? of course. but so long as you keep them out of the endzone, that's the important thing

PackersRS's picture

They won't duplicate the performances they had in the playoffs against teams like the Eagles and those Steelers with this kind of play.

Still, if you think that we didn't have this kind of play from the offense last year, where they are not gonna be shut down in a game no matter what, maybe they don't need that kind of performance.

The whole point is, people that are panicking about the D saying it's playing bad are wrong. It's playing very well, but not nearly as dominating as last year.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Are you Cow42's keeper? Go back and look at our back-an-forth, I said I absolutely had concerns too, I just keep them in perspective.

Name me one team that has no concerns. Please? Name me one roster that you would rather have top to bottom than the Packers. Please. If nobody can do that, I'm done listening to you bitch.



PackersRS's picture


CSS's picture

Little bit o' beer came out my nose here, not gonna' lie.

Bearmeat's picture


What a freakin moronic reply.

I did not ONCE say that I'm not happy with my team - nor did I say that there isn't one roster that doesn't have concerns. Not once.

As fans (and educated ones at that) it is within out ability to look at a team's body of work and make some judgements.

I completely resent you telling me that I'm in effect a football moron.

Screw you.

I state again - I am happy with where GB is - but there are concerns. I don't need to state them again. I have - ad naseum. Until those concerns are allayed by consistently good play in those areas, I will continue to state my opinions.

If you don't like it, feel free to disagree, but don't dismiss my intellect or my knowledge of the game of football. Who do you think you are???

packeraaron's picture

Guys - disagree all you want. Lets try to keep it civil. Thanks.

FITZCORE1252's picture


"What a freakin moronic reply"
"Screw you"

You can do better than that.

You referenced in your moronic reply to my enlightening reply that I implied "in effect" that you were a "football moron". WHERE THE HELL DID YOU COME UP WITH THAT? I simply stated that I'm done listening to people bitch (including you), unless they (you) can tell me a roster they would trade this roster for, or a team with no concerns.

I would apologize, if I had indeed taken a shot at your football acumen. But I didn't, that's all in your head broseph.

Good Day

Bearmeat's picture

I don't want to continue this - so we'll have to leave it at a misunderstanding of the tone of your original post. I apologize for flying off the handle.

I am not complaining. I am concerned. I would rather have GB's roster than any other, but there are concerns. End of story - and I'm not apologizing for that.

lebowski's picture

I was in disbelief that boneheaded play by Jones didn't get more mention during the game. Could not BELIEVE he was that dumb. Tack on yet another drop, and I continue to scratch my head at that resigning.

Ash's picture

This really needs to be cleared up- Joe Buck screwed up. (shocking, I know.) Jones was tackled in bounds, with the clock still running, and the Bears used their second timeout to stop the clock. If you watch the play again, you clearly see the ref wind his arm after the play- the clock was still moving. Buck blew the call.

packeraaron's picture

You are 100% correct Ash.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

100% both wrong. Watching it again now. The first zebra came in and gave the signal to keep the clock running, next zebra came in and signaled to stop the clock, and they did at the 4:09 mark, roughly twenty seconds later lovie called to use his second timeout.

Glad I could clear that up

packeraaron's picture

Um, nope.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Neither zebra signaled a time out at the sideline, just a stopped clock, the time out was called/announced a good twenty seconds later. Just watched it five times. You stick to your misguided funds guns though, good for you!

packeraaron's picture

Where was the ref closest to Lovie?

Ash's picture

So you're saying that the Side Judge got overruled on a boundary call right in front of him, and that Lovie spent one of his last 2 timeouts on a stopped clock play and no one commented on it? Granted, I've only watched it once, (not five times) but I believe Buck's call threw everyone off. Even after the clock was stopped, Buck stammered for a bit before declaring the Bears used their final timeout. (Also a mistake- he was awful in that stretch.)

PackersRS's picture

I don't know which happened, but I would definitely not be surprised if Lovie had callled a timeout in that moment.

FITZCORE1252's picture

The time out was heard audibly from the stadium speaker system over the TV, a good 20 seconds after the play was stopped at the 4:09 mark.

"So you’re saying that the Side Judge got overruled on a boundary call right in front of him, and that Lovie spent one of his last 2 timeouts on a stopped clock play and no one commented on it?"

Absolutely what happened. Why he called it 20 seconds into a stopped clock I have no idea, maybe he saw something he didn't like on the field. But if you think about it, why would he have burnt his 2nd to last T.O. with better than 4 minutes remaining down 2 scores? He must have saw something he didn't like defensively.

After the one zebra motioned to keep the clock running, the other one came running into frame as if to say no, maybe he had a better angle. He said something to Lovie... they stopped the clock. Had lovie called a T.O. right there we should have seen it or at least seen the zebra signal it. Neither happened. I'm going with when I heard it announced, not from Buck, but from the Loud speaker.

I am done now.

Ruppert's picture

I screamed when Jones ran out of bounds, too. And to make it worse, it looked like he was really really trying to GET out of bounds. Maybe he thought we were behind by 10.

fishandcrane's picture

He proved he could run near the sidelines against the Bears late and NOT fumble.

Just kidding, James. Long season, and I am glag you are one of amazing weapons on this team...

Still September.

BrianD's picture

My reaction to a couple points:
Grant did very well today because of the interior blocking. As was pointed out by the commentators, Lang, Wells, and Sitton were consistently moving off their man to pick up additional defenders in the second level and open up lanes for Grant. Grant also has been a Bears killer in the past.

Sam Shields badly missed a tackle on Cutler's second TD but he also made a GREAT tackle in the 4th quarter on what I believe was a 3rd down. He has the skills yet is very inconsistent.

Although Clay hasn't been making as large of plays as we're used to, the guy is still freakishly athletic. In the first quarter he jumped 2 running plays right off the bat, establishing the dominance of the run defense which eventually led to the Bears becoming more one dimensional as the game progressed. You can see him basically shrug off the guard that was assigned to block him and hit Forte almost immediately after the ball is handed off.

channel Don Hutson's picture

Both of the teams we handled well in weeks 1&2 won handly today, and we are one of the two undefeared teams in the league, playing a definite SB victor's schedule. Are the Packers perfect? - no! Could CM3 be more super? - Sure, same for C

Ash's picture

"playing a definite SB victor’s schedule" How so? The Packers are playing a "finished in 2nd place in the NFC North schedule", which amounts to 2 of the games being set that weren't already set years in advance.

Ruppert's picture

The Packers D needs better pass rush, whether it's from Matthews or anybody else. I really can't give CM3 too much grief today, though. He drew holding calls and had TFLs. Jeez, what do you want from the guy? Yes, I guess he should win more 1 on 1's. Maybe. It's hard to argue that point, being a guy on a couch. Seems to me he's still pretty good, though.

Oppy's picture

"Yes, I guess he should win more 1 on 1?s. Maybe. It’s hard to argue that point, being a guy on a couch. Seems to me he’s still pretty good, though."


Norman's picture

Third week in a row that Rodgers had fewer passing yards than the opposing QB. What's wrong with that guy? :-)

Aaron Nagler's picture

"What do you want from the guy?"

The impact plays we saw last year. Before everyone jumps down my throat - that doesn't mean I think he's not playing well. Mercy.

CaLIPACKfAN's picture

Don't talk bad about Mathews its like insulting your own mom

Mr. Red's picture

I know how spoiled and nitpicky this sounds considering the circumstances.

But one play I cannot shake from my mind. Urlacher makes a brilliant play on the ball to pick Rodgers. Jermichael Finley, despite being the closest person, makes ZERO attempt to go down Urlacher, instead he's too busy glaring a hole back in Rodger's helmet.

He goes off the field bickering with teammates, Greg Jennings and he exchange words, he sulks on the sideline.

This should have been JF's official coming out party. But that sequence keeps running through my head.

Jake's picture

It is possible he doesn't want to tackle a defender after what happened the last time he tried to do that....

Oppy's picture


Could you expand on your thoughts with Peprah and Shields?

I thought Peprah was sound enough. Is he built to play man on WR's regularly? No, but then, there's a reason he's a safety and not a corner. He was a big part of a stellar defensive backfield a year ago. He seemed fine to me tonight.

Shields- I found myself thinking "Good for you, Sam- this is how you're supposed to play CB" tonight, specifically because he seemed to play with the physicality that he has not played with thus far this season.

I also think you're missing the mark on Clay Matthews as well. I have no way of re-watching the game, so I'll be content to rely on your post-game analysis (and others) for the low-down on what really went down in the coming day or two, but suffice to say, my gut reactions and yours seem to be at odds quite a bit today.

Spiderpack's picture

Agree about Shields. I saw the old Shields from last yr come out a little bit, and I think that fight with Hester(I believe) was EXACTLY what the guy needed. He looked soooooo fired up on the tackle that happened right after that play where Hester pops him on his helmet. I think this game is his transition moment for a good season. Peprah was solid, but several times tonight I did find myself shouting out how Nick would've made a play on the ball or been there earlier for a tackle/pass breakup. But its time to move on and forget about Nick.

packeraaron's picture

I think Shields woke up after his run-in with Hester. Prior to that - he was a mixed bag and soft when tackling. Once he got pissed, he got focused both in coverage (he made a fantastic play on a slant where he was beat initially and then made up ground to stop the pass) and in his tackling (when he made a fantastic open field tackle in the flat)

Pack Morris's picture

Sometimes those plays do spark something in a player (I may have learned that from Favre, actually). I paid more attention to Shields after that play, and I agree that he proceeded step his game up.

I guess I'm also counting on him getting more physical the further he gets from his days as a wide receiver.

Idiot Fan's picture

I'm re-watching the game while reading these posts. It's not accurate to say he's always double-teamed, but he is either chipped by one defender and blocked by another, or double-teamed (I even saw one triple-team) on a significant number of plays. And he's still causing some problems in there. Sure, we'd like more sacks, but I'm not worried about him (yet).

JerseyCheese's picture

The Wynn sack was a perfect example of the offensive line focusing in on Clay Matthews. Whether we don't think he's as good as we think he is or not, offenses do. He is being chipped, double teamed and zeroed in on. Packers fans tend to find something to complain about. Let the season play out and enjoy the 3-0 start.

Spiderpack's picture


Steve in Mpls's picture

Like I tell my patients, there's a huge difference between what is uncomfortable and
truly vs. those filthy Bears
the former applied. I agree totally there are
some concerns, however, last time I looked, the sky was not falling...we are young, deep
and talented at every many other teams can say that? Personally, I just
wish Starks would run angry again.... Gotta
love our dudes, they're still cocky...because
they know that they really are the best. S.

Philip's picture

re: matthews

nagler, please.

mark's picture

+1. Period.

packeraaron's picture

Matthews is above criticism.

Duly noted.

Philip's picture

matthews certainly isn't above criticism, but apparently you are. duly noted.

matthews can impact a game with more than a sack or two. he did that today. apparently you weren't watching the same game many of us were.

murphy's picture

I think I was watching the same game...Matthews made some nice plays and definitely added some pressure. I think we're all sitting back waiting for an "it's time" play to reaffirm our belief that Clay is a beast, and haven't gotten it yet.

I'd really love to see the film on Matthews in the true 1v1 plays, and especially how this year's film compares to last years' 1v1s. How is he getting beat? I've seen a lot of him getting pushed around the outside and behind the QB, but haven't paid much attention to it otherwise.

Me, I just tell myself that this isn't last year and the only statistics that really matter are Wins/Losses/Ties.

The Pack has yet to take a crack at any truly terrible teams and they sit at 3-0. Denver omelet, anyone?

PackersRS's picture


Much more to playing OLB than winning 1-on-1s.

You have to win them consistantly to be talked about as elite, though.

packeraaron's picture

Where did I say ANYTHING about Matthews having a bad game? That's not anywhere close to what I wrote. He's not making plays the way he was last year. THAT DOES NOT MEAN HE IS PLAYING BAD FOOTBALL. But he's not impacting games the way he did quite often last year.

mark's picture

"Clay Matthews is either hurt or not as good as we think he is... Guy is not winning one-on-ones. Period."

"Where did I say ANYTHING about Matthews having a bad game? That’s not anywhere close to what I wrote."


I'd say that's close.

PackersRS's picture

That is a much harder point to get across than antecipated.

I think I made 30 posts in this thread only trying to say that yet people keep not getting it.

Oppy's picture

Per Bob McGinn:

"Matthews had one of his finest games as a Packer, registering four hurries, 3½ knockdowns and 2½ tackles for loss. "

While you didn't say Matthews had a bad game, it seems that McGinn found Matthews play to still have an impact on the game.

I will agree, however, that it is clear he isn't as physical as he was previous years, and I'd agree that he must be battling through some sort of injury... But he's still more than making his presence felt. He is impacting games, albeit not with sacks.

packsmack25's picture

I honestly can't believe the negativity. Packers are 3-0, have 7 home games left, are allowing less than 50 YPG on the ground, and people just want to complain. Didn't last year teach you all anything? This is a great team. They will do a lot of winning. No one is perfect, so chill the hell out.

WisconsInExile's picture

Absolutely agree.

Look around the league. The issues the Packers face appear endemic to the league at large. It's well noted that defenses are behind offenses, and that as player conditioning improves, defensive play will improve (just like every year).

The Packers are not the only defense giving up passing yards. More importantly, though, they aren't giving up much on the ground at all (and with just 2 down lineman most of the time). Oh, and they aren't giving up many points. Not many defenses are pulling that off.

There is nothing to see here. Move along, move along. I'm very excited about this team. Much better start than last year. Lot of games still ahead, but am looking forward to watching it unfold.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Preach it Brother Smack.


packeraaron's picture

Packsmack, it feels negative because people pick apart the stuff they don't agree with. You notice no one ever writes "I don't agree with this but you make good points here" It's usually just "You're crazy for thinking xyz..." and away we go ;)

adroge's picture

How much did Peppers get chipped, doubled, or triple teamed? And how did he do against the oldest tackle in the leauge and a player playing his first real nfl game? My point exactly. I would say matthews dominated about four games last year. The rest of the time he looked real good, just like he does this year. My only question is why not line him up on the right side half of the time? Come on capers, mix it up a little bit.

Norman's picture

I wonder if the Vikings blogs are this negative?

CSS's picture

2-0 on the road, sign of a champion. Everything else is picking nits.

As for the Vikings....As a St. Paul resident their fans are already checked out. Imagine being heartbroken in perpetuity, they just don't know what a good relationship is.

Ken's picture

Matthews was a beast against the run, drew a holding call and should have drawn 1-2 more. He played winning football.

Ray Rhodes's picture

"Unless of course Brian Urlacher baits your quarterback nto an interception"
Urlacher must have baited him by letting him throw all those touchdown passes first. HaHaHaHaHaHa what a joke.

packeraaron's picture

I wasn't talking about any other plays in the game - I was talking about that particular play - which was just a fantastic play by Urlacher.

GBinSTL's picture

While I will say that Urlacher made a great play there I do believe it was more of a bad decision on Rodgers part. Rodgers knew Urlacher was in the general area and with the skillset that Finley has all you have to do there is float one up where only Finley can get it. One pick in 3 games so you cant ask for much more but it sure did come at a bad time.

PackersRS's picture

He really didn't, he didn't see Urlacher. There's a great camera view from behind the LOS that shows Urlacher crashing the OL, then disappearing behind the DL. In that shot Finley is WIDE open. And he was, if not for the ILB that plays like a safety.

Urlacher is the best Tampa 2 ILB I've ever seen.

In the NFCC game, it was an awful decision on Rodgers' part. In this one, he was baited by a great player.

Jake's picture

Urlacher always seems to find a way to get at least one of Rodgers passes...

PackersRS's picture

He did the same with Favre.

Urlacher is a great player when healthy PERIOD. Old or not.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Hate to say it but that was just vintage Earlicker... Can't he just go away already?

cow42's picture

i'm right here, fitz.

this is all fun reading.

Pretty cool that the team is playing at about 65% of its ability and it's still 3-0 with 2 road wins.

so'oto, neal, zombo returning will really help. guys playing in their stead right now will all benefit from it.

i'm done with this whole matthews argument. while he's still a very good player, he is in no way as violent/explosive as he has been at times in the past. if you don't see this, i believe it's because you choose not to. go watch last year's games vs. the eagles and the bills and then come back and tell me it's the same guy. i don't believe you (or anyone else) will be able to.

but whatever.

as soon as this team gets it's act together it's going to be scary as hell. they haven't even scratched the surface of what they're capable of.

this team has issues and limitations, but i trust the coaching staff to put the talents they do have into positions where they can be successful.

packeraaron's picture

"... he is in no way as violent/explosive as he has been at times in the past."


FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

I absolutely agree with that. I'm just hoping it's attributed to the quad injury.

some guy's picture

I wonder if the perceived lack of production is also due to the fact that So'oto and Zombo are out, and Matthews is playing more snaps.

With all the doubles and chipping and lack of pass rush from the line, he's just getting worn out. plus, the team has gotten the ball moved against them. that'll wear on a guy.

PackersRS's picture

He's getting A LOT more double and triple teamed.

Specially inside, when he makes any inside move teams will automatically attribute 2 or 3 guys on him, because he's just too fast for a guard to protect him.

But still, he IS getting one-on-ones. And he is not winning them.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

There you go, your last two paragraphs are more like it.

Darrin's picture

I was at the game and watched Matthews a lot. He's not getting double and triple teamed all day long, but he has trouble shedding one-on-one block from the Tackle. He's productive because of relentless pursuit. His spin move doesn't work and when he goes low to the outside he seems to lose footing. However, there were many plays yesterday where he was half a step from leveling Cutler just before he released the ball. He's not big enough to bull rush a Tackle, regardless of who it is. Seemed like when they ran some stunts they confused the Bears OL and got to Cutler.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

As for bullrushing a tackle, I want to say it was in one of the philly games last teaser (nagler, little help please) ... He absolutely got into the tackle and drove him into the qb. Epitome of bull rush. He put it on tape, he is more than capable, when healthy.

packeraaron's picture

From Ty Dunne’s post game chat over at JSOnline:

(Matthews) was solid against the run and certainly forced some plays into the middle but he was a nonfactor rushing the passer. Frank Omiyale, Gabe Carimi’s replacement, really kept Matthews at bay. Even though he’s getting doubled a lot this season, Matthews should have more than one sack.

I agree with every word.

Piet's picture

On that interesting Bears punt return near the end of the game - did Hester wave for a fair catch? And if he did, wouldn't that nullify the return, regardless of who returned it?

PackersRS's picture

Quoted from wikipedia:

"A player signaling for a fair catch is not required to catch the ball; however, after making the signal, he may not initiate contact with any member of the kicking team until the ball is touched by another player. If he does he will be penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. If the ball hits the ground or a member of the kicking team, the fair catch signal is off and rules for kicked balls apply. If the receiver "muffs" the ball (touches it, but then fails to field it cleanly), then the ball can be recovered by the kicking team once the ball touches the ground."

By that, the Bears' play was legal, as it, in effect, "hit a member of the kicking team".

However there's this paragraph:

"The fair catch signal can be used as a legal form of deception in the following instance: If the receiver has no intention of actually fielding the ball, but wishes it to roll in the end zone for a touchback, he may signal for a fair catch in front of where the ball will land, making the kicking team think it will not reach the end zone."

It clearly lists the type of deception can be used by it, so any not listed as an exception shouldn't be valid.

If wikipedia is right and this is the rule, they really screwed up writing it. What a terrible job by the NFL.

In law, there would be jurisprudence regulating the boundaries of this rule. As there isn't such jurisprudence for this issue, it really is up to the NFL to decide how they want to apply it.

PackersRS's picture

Since I can't edit it anymore...

Forget everything I had written. Wikipedia is, indeed, quite shitty...

". A player who signals for a fair catch is not required to catch the ball. However, if a player signals for a fair catch, he may not block or initiate contact with any player on the kicking team until the ball touches a player. Penalty: snap 15 yards.

4. If ball hits ground or is touched by member of kicking team in flight, fair catch signal is off and all rules for a kicked ball apply."

There's no such thing as exceptions listed to deceptions or whatnot. The play was legal.

Piet's picture

Gotcha, thanks.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Somebody, anybody

Did they change the over time rules back? The lions got the ball and kicked a fg, under the new rules don't the queens get the ball unless the queens score a td? A fg doesn't win it automatically on the first drive of Ot. Right? Or did I miss something?

packeraaron's picture

Fitz - the new overtime rules are for postseason play only...for now.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Ah, that's right. Thanks.

Jack's picture

Bob McGinn tweets? Really?

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