Any team that plays the Green Bay Packers knows that in order to win they must slow down outside linebacker Clay Matthews. The Washington Redskins understand this, as they will have to do whatever it takes to stop Matthews if they want to record their first win of the 2013 NFL season.
Just as the Packers will have to contain quarterback Robert Griffin III from getting outside of the pocket, the Redskins will have to contain Matthews from reaching the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year. For a team that has been worried about Griffin’s knee in the early going of the season, Matthews could be a potential nightmare.
“Great player. Clay, he’s got a motor and he’s a talented guy that has a motor,” Griffin said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Anybody with that immense amount of ability that plays every snap like it’s his last is a dangerous guy. We’ll be aware of him. You’ve always got to respect your opponent, and I respect Clay Matthews as a player, and that’s all you can say.”
Matthews was the most productive defender for Green Bay in the team’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He recorded eight total tackles, one sack and two stuffs. Even though the Packers were clearly playing a contain defense against Colin Kaepernick, Matthews was still able to make the quarterback feel uncomfortable at times.
After the Philadelphia Eagles dropped Griffin three times, Washington has to be concerned with that Matthews could do.
“My team respects him as a player, and that’s the way we have to go out about it,” Griffin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “You’ve got to prepare, there’s going to be great players in this league that you have to play against, and he’s one of them.”
There is no question Trent Williams is in for a long day, but the Redskins cannot expect the left tackle to do it all on his own. Running back Alfred Morris and tight end Fred Davis will have to get in the mix. Whether it is chip blocking or simply double-teaming Matthews, Washington will have to figure out a way to slow him down.