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Woody Vs Clay Matthews


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Despite bevy of injuries, Green Bay Packer defense still proficient in getting to the QB

Published: Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 7:30 AM

Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger

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Jim Prisching/Getty ImagesGreen Bay linebacker Clay Matthews has been one of the main forces behind the Packers aggressive defense this season.


Share 0 Comments Count Damien Woody among those who made sure he was in front of a television at 8:30 Sunday night.

The Packers played the Vikings, and the Jets right tackle wanted to absorb as much information as possible on this week’s opponent — particularly on the pressure Woody and his offensive linemates will face. He was impressed.

“They’re hurt; they have some injuries,” Woody said about Green Bay. “But they’re still a very active front.”

As the Jets like to say, the only numbers that matter in this game are in the win column, but the Packers defense has put up strong ones in the pressure department.

Through seven games, Dom Capers’ unit has tallied 22 sacks, third-best in the NFL, and 48 quarterback hits, an average of nearly seven per game. The 3-4 front has been thinned by injuries — but despite playing most of Sunday’s game with just three healthy and active defensive linemen, the Packers sacked Vikings quarterback Brett Favre once, hit him six times and credited their pressure on his three-interception night.

Yesterday morning, the Jets coaches showed the offense a montage of Green Bay’s varied blitzes and pressures this season, which will no doubt stick in the players’ heads all week. On the flip side: the Jets have kept quarterback Mark Sanchez well-protected all season.

The Jets quarterback has been sacked only nine times, fourth-best in the league, and has been hit only 12 times. Every other quarterback in the league has been hit at least 20 times, topping out with the 53 hits allowed by Chicago.

“I think we can protect the quarterback as well as any team in the league,” coach Rex Ryan said. “I think that’s going to be a great matchup.”

Perhaps the most critical matchup will be Woody on Clay Matthews. The second-year linebacker missed Week 6 with a hamstring injury, but still led the league with 8½ sacks before last night’s Giants-Cowboys game.

“He’s not going to go up against (left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson), I don’t think,” Ryan said, citing Ferguson’s strong play against elite pass rushers each week. “That’s fine with us. He’s going to try and challenge Damien Woody. Damien Woody is a great football player, so let’s see those two go at it.”

Woody described Matthews as very athletic and slippery, and said he uses his hands well. He said the Jets don’t use extra protection too often, so he’s preparing to battle Matthews one-on-one.

“The guy never quits,” Woody said. “It’s going to be one of those games where you’ve got to be prepared to go start to finish, all the way around because he’s not going to stop.”

The Jets’ offensive linemen are a detail-oriented, perfectionist bunch who always see areas to improve, but they do cite a few reasons why the pass protection has held up this season. Smooth communication, and being able to play in unison. A coordinated effort with backs and receivers. Increased awareness by Sanchez, who in his second year understands when to get the ball out quickly and when to get rid of it.

The line’s victories each week are often unnoticed and not found on the stat sheet — like a play against Denver that center Nick Mangold referred to yesterday. The Broncos brought an overload blitz on the offensive right side, and right guard Brandon Moore was able to get enough of a nudge on the extra safety so Sanchez could get his pass off.

The linemen still meet about 45 minutes before the other position groups every Wednesday and Thursday, the “Breakfast Club” tradition that is a holdover from the Eric Mangini era.

They have so much information to process each week, Moore explained, that they need the extra time.

Under position coach Bill Callahan, Moore said he has never felt more prepared for each opponent — which will be needed this week.

“They’re very relentless,” Moore said. “They bring pressure from all different angles. It’s definitely going to be a big week for us to prepare for them, because of the different things they do.”

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Another talent Belicheat whiffed on, thanks for trading back Bill, Matthews is a damn beast.

Yes he is. The guy is a freak.

If he were going to be against D’Brick I would be confident, but Green Bay will stack him against Woody. I love Woody in the running game, but in the passing game he worries me against elite pass rushers

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Honestly, I think it's time to start realizing that it's Cutler that's gonna get himself killed.


The dude refuses to commit to the run, was 0-28 on 3rd down at one point and his OL had to learn more blocking schemes than the Pats and Jets use combined...

Yeah, you're probably right. It's Cutler.

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