Losing Clay Matthews for possibly a month is going to hurt.
It doesn’t matter who is set to replace him, whenever a superstar goes down you are going to feel that absence.
However, I still think the Packers are in a position on defense to not miss a beat from their recent success.
Take a look at the recent slate of games:
• The Packers’ victory over the Redskins was a dominating effort. Lost in the mix of celebrations was the defense’s performance. You don’t build a 31-0 lead without getting stops and frustrating an opposing team’s offense. The defense gave up 320 yards passing and 107 yards rushing to RGIII and Alfred Morris, but that wasn’t until the game was well in hand for the win.
• Take a look at the Cincinnati Bengals game. Some people say “same old defense giving up a victory,” but the defense was SOLID creating four turnovers. Realistically, the blame (and I hate to say it) falls to Aaron Rodgers‘ ill-advised interceptions that put the defense in a tough predicament down the stretch of that game. And if you include Johnathan Franklin‘s late fourth quarter fumble that sealed a rough day for our prolific offense.
• Lastly take a gander at the Detroit game. Yes there was no Megatron but it doesn’t take away that the Packers’ defense had an excellent game plan for the Lions. All the talk about Reggie Bush‘s revival as a Lion and he was non-existent last Sunday. You had to think the Packers were going to concentrate all efforts to stop him and Megatron, yet the other receivers looked like deer in the headlights with the stage set to exploit a last minute scramble because of the missing superstar. Because of that, I have to say job well done by players and coaches alike.
Sunday brings the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Flacco is struggling. Ray Rice has yet to find a groove. Don’t expect the Packers to be their jumpstart. A stout run defense led by a rejuvenated B.J. Raji and hardworking Johnny Jolly will suffocate the Ravens’ rushing efforts. The return of leader Morgan Burnett and budding star Sam Shields, along with Tramon Williams will stymie Baltimore, giving the Packers a right to claim that the defense can handle major adversity and still play at a high level.