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Old 01-26-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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Default Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben

Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/114617349.html
By Lori Nickel of the Journal Sentinel

Jan. 25, 2011 |(36) Comments

One of the great things about football is that with 22 men on the field for every play, a game will have plenty of jersey-against-jersey, individual battles worthy of their own boxing ring.

Super Bowl XLV is a perfect example.

Bring in Green Bay's whirling dervish, Clay Matthews, and his 17 sacks this season and turn him loose against Pittsburgh's imposing quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, and just wait for the punches and counterpunches to unfold.

It's not that Roethlisberger can't be sacked.

In fact, he has been 274 times in the regular season in his seven-year career.

The opportunity to get to him is there. But getting to him and bringing him down can be two different matters entirely.

The 28-year-old Roethlisberger is 6-foot-5 and 241 pounds, easily one of the most physically imposing men at the position and clearly one of the greatest challenges for the Green Bay defense when the Packers play Pittsburgh on Feb. 6.

"You see quarterbacks who sometimes go down easily," said Matthews, Green Bay's all-pro outside linebacker. "But he's one of those guys who will fight and gets out of a lot of sacks. And the sacks that he does give up, he's still standing."

Roethlisberger is a two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback who threw for 3,200 yards with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions in 12 regular-season games. He was sacked 32 times in the regular season and eight in the playoffs this year.

In 2009, he was sacked 50 times to share the NFL lead with Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.

Two of Roethlisberger's sacks came at the hands of Matthews. As a rookie he faced Roethlisberger and the Steelers on a frigid December night at Heinz Field, and Matthews turned out one of his best games all year. In addition to the sacks, Matthews hit Roethlisberger three times and added two quarterback hurries. He also had eight tackles.

But Roethlisberger was unstoppable. He had 503 passing yards, including a miraculous, last-second 19-yard touchdown throw to Mike Wallace in the corner of the end zone. The Steelers beat the Packers, 37-36.

Roethlisberger and the rest of the NFL saw a Matthews who gave an impressive one-man showing. A year later, he's even better.

"I'm only in my second year, so I think the possibilities are endless," said Matthews. "When I came here, I didn't want to be just another guy on the team. I wanted to be a playmaker and I wanted to be a leader of this defense. And I think I'm taking the step in the right direction."

Matthews had 13 1/2 sacks in the regular season and has recorded 3 1/2 more in the playoffs. Roethlisberger now faces a matured Matthews capable of taking over a drive by making game-changing plays.

"Clay Matthews brings an intensity, a motor, a passion to our defense that's just contagious," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

If Roethlisberger holds the ball too long or runs around the pocket and drifts - making it hard for his offensive line to sustain their blocks for him - that's an opportunity for Matthews.

Matthews forced two fumbles and had one interception (returned 62 yards for a touchdown) with four passes defensed in the regular season.

"Obviously, with quarterbacks like that, you just need to stay alive in your pass rush," said Matthews. "Obviously, last year was last year, but we had some success against him rushing the passer as well. We gave up way too much in the passing game.

"If there's anything to learn from last year's loss, it's that. So we've got to stay alive, really get after him, and kind of collapse the pocket on him and force him to not be able to complete those passes where he moves around and breaks tackles."

McCarthy said he would have his coaches and players review that 2009 game against the Steelers to help prepare for the Super Bowl.

"Dynamic football player, Roethlisberger," said McCarthy. "He's very gifted in extending plays. When you look at Ben and you look at Aaron, they have that unique ability to play in the pocket and play out of the pocket.

"Roethlisberger can make all the throws inside the pocket and particularly when things break down, just once again extend the plays. He's a world champion. He's been to this game twice. He has two Super Bowls under his belt. So he definitely makes that offense go."
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben

My opinion of the matchup to watch is Pittsburgh's defensive line VERSUS Green Bay's offensive line.

If Pittsburgh can get the pressure that is needed from our front men, then I can see them tormenting Rodgers into rushed throws and running uncomfortably out of the pocket. If we can't get that pressure, atleast on occasion, then I worry that Rodgers will pick us apart all game long. Isn't his completition percentile in the 100's facing the blitz? Impressive.

As far as Matthews, ANOTHER stud I absolutley love. Man, would he look good in Black and Gold. Unfortunately for him and the overall Green Bay defense, there is NOTHING they can possibly do to confuse us.

They have our model of defense and we've went up against more aggressiveness with Baltimore and N.Y the past two weeks so I think we can move the ball on these guys. Depends on getting to Rodgers because he's their only hope of getting a 4th ring.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben

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My opinion of the matchup to watch is Pittsburgh's defensive line VERSUS Green Bay's offensive line.

If Pittsburgh can get the pressure that is needed from our front men, then I can see them tormenting Rodgers into rushed throws and running uncomfortably out of the pocket. If we can't get that pressure, atleast on occasion, then I worry that Rodgers will pick us apart all game long. Isn't his completition percentile in the 100's facing the blitz? Impressive.

As far as Matthews, ANOTHER stud I absolutley love. Man, would he look good in Black and Gold. Unfortunately for him and the overall Green Bay defense, there is NOTHING they can possibly do to confuse us.

They have our model of defense and we've went up against more aggressiveness with Baltimore and N.Y the past two weeks so I think we can move the ball on these guys. Depends on getting to Rodgers because he's their only hope of getting a 4th ring.
Where the hell do you come up with this comment ? I think Ben was more than a little confused last week ! 10 completions and 4 of his passes hit Jets defenders in the hands!! You need to take Ben's sack off your chin.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:58 PM   #4
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben

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Where the hell do you come up with this comment ? I think Ben was more than a little confused last week ! 10 completions and 4 of his passes hit Jets defenders in the hands!! You need to take Ben's sack off your chin.
First off, this Green Bay Packers defense is our model and our style of play. Like I've said before, we've played WAY MORE aggressive defense's that run this style in Baltimore and New York so as far as what to expect, I don't think they can pull off anything that's going to confuse us scheme wise. Now, how Ben performs is a different story of getting the ball to our wideouts but this doesn't necc attend to Ben, this goes for our whole offensive personal whether it be our O-line, OR our wide receiver reads. This is a defense we've played TIME AND TIME AGAIN.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben

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Where the hell do you come up with this comment ? I think Ben was more than a little confused last week ! 10 completions and 4 of his passes hit Jets defenders in the hands!! You need to take Ben's sack off your chin.
Dude, there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone's opinion ... I do it all the time. But can you make at least one post without being a complete douche toward other posters? I think you can do it. So don't prove me wrong, champ.

Sorry, mods ... back on topic. I don't think it's a matter of our offense being confused. It's all about execution. I don't t think Green Bay will bring anything we haven't seen before. It's just a question of whether the O-Line can stop it.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben

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Dude, there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone's opinion ... I do it all the time. But can you make at least one post without being a complete douche toward other posters? I think you can do it. So don't prove me wrong, champ.

Sorry, mods ... back on topic. I don't think it's a matter of our offense being confused. It's all about execution. I don't t think Green Bay will bring anything we haven't seen before. It's just a question of whether the O-Line can stop it.
Ding, ding. Exactly my point!
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben

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Dude, there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone's opinion ... I do it all the time. But can you make at least one post without being a complete douche toward other posters? I think you can do it. So don't prove me wrong, champ.

Sorry, mods ... back on topic. I don't think it's a matter of our offense being confused. It's all about execution. I don't t think Green Bay will bring anything we haven't seen before. It's just a question of whether the O-Line can stop it.
I agree with you. However I do think it is possible that we might change things a bit on our offense. I suspect to see alot more quick option plays for Ben to throw to if a big Blitz package comes after him. Either the screen to Mendy, who has been doing better on those as the season went on. Not withstanding the bobble he had against the Jets that caused one of Ben's Interceptions that wasn't Ben's fault at all. Or either Brown on a quick-hitter, or Miller on a slant.


The biggest key of the game I think is to have us start off quick in the scoring. Cause I suspect Green Bay will come out nervous, and too hyped up. First time teams usually do.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben

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I agree with you. However I do think it is possible that we might change things a bit on our offense. I suspect to see alot more quick option plays for Ben to throw to if a big Blitz package comes after him. Either the screen to Mendy, who has been doing better on those as the season went on. Not withstanding the bobble he had against the Jets that caused one of Ben's Interceptions that wasn't Ben's fault at all. Or either Brown on a quick-hitter, or Miller on a slant.


The biggest key of the game I think is to have us start off quick in the scoring. Cause I suspect Green Bay will come out nervous, and too hyped up. First time teams usually do.
I hope you're right. During the playoff games, I was wondering what happened to the successful quick slants we saw against Carolina and Cleveland. It's hard to argue with scoring 17 points in the first half against the Jets, but we have to remember that we scored ZERO in the second half ... well, -2 if you want to get technical. I feel more comfortable with quick passes rather than actually expecting the O-Line to pass protect. Quick passes and the running game will set up the deep pass.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Super Bowl fight card: Clay vs. Big Ben

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I don't t think Green Bay will bring anything we haven't seen before
Then you know nothing of Dom Capers. He has spent the last 19 weeks disguising blitz packages. Do you think BJ Raji slid into coverage by mistake?

Have you not seen one Packer game this year? Capers prides himself of being the Master of Disguise. As the season gets longer the looks have gone from 6 Down Linemen to 0 Down Linemen. Good luck scheming for that.

Everyone says we play a 3-4 D. We actually play a Cover 7 or a 2-4-5 scheme that has baffled offenses all season.

I hope your coaches feel the same way you do!
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