30

January

Clay Matthews 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers, Clay Matthews headshot, Clay Matthews Packers.1) Introduction:What else can be said about Clay Matthews that hasn’t already been said?  With the departure of Charles Woodson, Matthews officially became the heart and soul of the Green Bay Packers’ defense.  Aside from Aaron Rodgers, Matthews is the one player the Packers can ill afford to lose to injury.  For the past few seasons, he has been pretty much the entire Green Bay pass rush though GM Ted Thompson selected players in the past two drafts to try and alleviate some of that pressure on the Claymaker.  Unfortunately, Matthews is also usually good for one or two injuries a season, and it’s probably his hamstring.  With a brand new contract in hand that he signed before the 2013 season, Matthews is clearly the MVP of the defense and big things were expected in 2013.

2) Profile: Clay Matthews III

  • Age: 27
  • Born: 05/14/1986 in Northridge, California
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 255
  • College: USC 12.
  • Rookie Year: 2009
  • NFL Experience: 5 years
  • Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Now that he is the richest linebacker in NFL history, Matthews was expected to carry the defense on his back.  Though Thompson had brought Nick Perry in 2012 and Datone Jones this season to aid the pass rush, Matthews still was the center of the defense. Another double digit sack season and Pro Bowl appearance is in order every year for a player of his caliber and 2013 was no different.  In fact, thanks to the presence of Perry and Jones, it was expected to be an unleashed Matthews that was on the field in 2013.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Matthews had one of his best games of the season in the 26-26 tie against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 12 which was his only multiple sack game of the season. He also had two forced fumbles in the loss to the Bengals in Week 2 and had eight tackles and a sack against the 49ers in Week 1.  It was arguably Matthews who kept the Packers in position to win the season opener at San Francisco.  His biggest low-light of 2013 was his thumb which he managed to break twice during the season.  His missed Weeks 6-9 and then broke the same thumb again in Week 16, causing him to miss the regular season finale and the wild card game against the 49ers.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Despite missing five games, Matthews once again led the team in sacks with 7.5, though Mike Daniels was on his tail with 6.5.  Matthews is the superstar of the Green Bay defense and how he goes so goes the rest of the unit.  The defense was held together by popsicle sticks and super glue while Matthews (among many others) healed and despite the Packers going 4-1 in games Matthews missed, the pass rush was not a reason why Green Bay won those games.   Matthews would have had a Pro Bowl year had he remained healthy and who knows how much better the defense would have been had that thumb not been broken?

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Non-existent. Matthews was out for the 49ers playoff game. Could he have made a difference? It’s impossible to tell, but the Packers are much better on defense with him on the field.  So by missing the game, he contributed towards the team’s demise though obviously not intentionally.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season

(B) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: B

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

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17 Responses to “Clay Matthews 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card”

  1. Scheny Schen says:

    Need him healthy for an entire year. How ridiculous that he breaks his thumb twice, both times while sacking the QB? As for the question about whether his presence would have made a difference in the playoff game, I’m not sure how you can answer it with “impossible to tell”. That is like saying its impossible to know if Rodgers would be better in the playoffs than Flynn…….I’m confused by your logic there Kris. GoPack!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  2. Razer says:

    Clay Matthews is the one true star we have on defense and yet he is no better than a B – truly sad. Missing games and trying to run around the left tackle has become a cliche for Matthews. I would like to see him play a full year and be moved around a bit more. Since he is a true linebacker, I would like to see him work out of the middle as well. Either way, having him run into Joe Staley for 3 games was akin to banging your head against the wall. We need to get more from our star.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

    • Newhaven says:

      I agree with Razer. More production is needed. I would not have given him a B- for the season-he missed too much time. What good is a player if he is injured and on the bench every year? He has only made it through one complete season since coming into the league.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  3. Since '61 says:

    Matthews is our best defensive player, it’s true. Yet we were 4-1 without him. Also, he still runs himself out of a lot of plays. His injuries are a concern because to be considered a great player you need to be able to stay on the field. While he may be the “heart and soul” of the defense I still believe that he has a way to go to becoming the leader of the defense or reaches the point where where he takes over a game. Part of it is his surrounding cast. If we get a full healthy season from CM3, Perry and D. Jones in 2014, we may finally be able to evaluate these players accurately. Thanks, Since ’61

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. Tarynfor12 Tarynfor12 says:

    Expectation for season…Grade C+

    Whether he would have been a Pro Bowler or not isn’t a factor for this grade or this part of the evaluation.Many teams have Pro Bowl players and get nowhere near the playoffs or a winning record.The money paid to Matthews whether via a contract extension or via FA had he become one,the return on investment is a failing one if based solely on what you expect in a game to game mindset.Matthews for his anointed stature on the team seems to much a great magician at disappearing for too long and too many shows.

    Contribution to teams success…Grade C+

    The fact that Mathews is still very inconsistent on the field when healthy less being off the field with the hammy and now the thumb.he is too often stonewalled and on the losing side of the one on ones.The fact that we went 4-1 without him lends credence to his level of play being replaced all too easily than should be.Of coarse opponents could be a factor for that record but his numbers could be viewed in the same manner.

    Overall….Grade C+

    When getting the paycheck he is..there is very,very little room for excuses when on the field.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  5. Since '61 says:

    Jim -I agree, C is about right for this season. Thanks, Since ’61

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • Bob says:

      Clay Matthews was not a superstar in 2013. He did not create any kind of consistent pass-rush pressure. Even tight ends were able to slow him down considerably.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. jimmy c says:

    The Claymaker must get through a ‘full’ season next year or you will start to hear the writers calling him ‘injury prone’ that will eventually take him out of the NFL prematurely,unlike his blood predecessor’s who seemed to play forever in the NFL. I have to agree that Matthews needs to stay on the field 90% or more for the Pack next season to keep paying him the big bucks and help turn the Defense into a SB contender.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Big T says:

    I believe he gives 100% every second he is on the field, the key words there being when he is on the field… just not much contribution out of him anymore. Offensive lines obviously have him figured out. He gets a C+ from me…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. billabong says:

    please please get somebody to help with the pass rush, from the other end or hopefully Middle linebacker….surrounded by the mediocre, always developing draft choices like Perry and Jones, Hawk and “the other Jones”, a man can only do so much…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. larry valdes says:

    Mattheus plays on playoff game against niters and we win the game for sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Stroh says:

    While Matthews is the heart of the defense, he isn’t the soul. Shown by the teams play on Defense w/o him vs SF. He is THE playmaker of the D, but the Packers desperately need a couple more. Hayward was expected to be one of them as was Perry and Burnett. Perry himself still has less than one full season, Burnett was saddled playing w/ Jennings and Hayward was out for the year.

    IMO the Packers need to switch Perry and Matthews. Perry seems to be an entirely different pass rusher at ROLB. Matthews had his best sack output playing his one season at LOLB. Hopefully they can bring Neal back and use them as the OLB occasionally to free Matthews to move around more. Having Daniels step up, Datone make a jump and better production from Perry/Neal will make the D very good, possibly better if they add a quality Safety or ILB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. Archie says:

    Why do the Packers suck?

    The short answer is TT.

    The slightly longer answer – they can’t defend the middle of the field (inside guys all too slow) and on offense, the same problem in reverse, they can’t attack the middle of the field. Add to that an OL that remains questionable despite a bevy of high picks and a DL that is in shambles despite a bevy of high picks.

    Any Qs?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Stroh says:

      Just STFU. Packers have been to the playoffs the past 5 years and have a SB in that span only team in the NFL that can say that! And you say they suck? Get a f’in clue!!!

      Suck is what they were in the 70′s and 80′s and this team is NOTHING close to that shitstorm!! Go away Troll!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. Jeff says:

    Injuries has been the theme of this team since Rogers took over. The only year out of the last four where they stayed relatively healthy was 2011,when they went 15-1. To me, that playoff loss to the Giants was the most disappointing loss I’ve witnessed. Favre’s last game with the Pack also against New York stands as second.

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  13. Jeff says:

    Injuries has been the theme of this team since Rogers took over. The only year out of the last four where they stayed relatively healthy was 2011,when they went 15-1. To me, that playoff loss to the Giants was the most disappointing loss I’ve witnessed. Favre’s last game with the Pack also against New York stands as second.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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