For a defense in the middle of a transition, perhaps it makes sense a rookie has thrived early in the new system. Clay Matthews did not have an official start until the game against Detroit Sunday, but he already leads the team in sacks. Matthews also provided a huge emotional boost early for the Packers. Bursting out of the gates, Matthews tackled Lions running back Kevin Smith for losses on the first two plays. Matthews sacked Culpepper on the Lions next possession, and came up big when he was the first Packer on Smith on a crucial Lions fourth and one. Then the first quarter ended. At a position where the Packers have a couple of converted defensive ends (Kampman, Thompson), two backup linebackers (Poppinga, Jones), Matthews has stepped up into a role which was an unknown before the sea ...
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Article written by Aren Dow