Packers: Top 5 lessons learned in Week 2 loss to Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17: Aaron Rodgers
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17: Aaron Rodgers /
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4. The reemergence of the Claymaker

Clay Matthews may not fire up his teammates quite as frequently as he did in his heyday, but so far he appears to be healthier than he ever was last year and is back to being one of the team’s inspirational leaders.

The 31-year-old paced the defense in sacks (1.5) and quarterback hits (3), as he consistently applied pressure from multiple positions along the line of scrimmage.

On a first quarter sack he shared with Joe Thomas, Matthews showcased his quick-twitch movement skills by side-stepping right tackle Ryan Schraeder on his way to penetrating the backfield.

Later in the quarter, No. 52’s lateral agility was again on grand display in getting around the right tackle and nearly getting to the quarterback again, who wound up completing a downfield pass to Mohamed Sanu.

This may have been Matthews’ best performance since last December’s Minnesota game if one factors in how often the golden-maned linebacker was around the ball by anticipating plays.

He did miss a couple of tackles, but to focus on those would be nitpicking.

The bottom line is: Clay is back. But can he survive playing 40-plus snaps per game over a 16-game regular season?

Brooks can’t come back soon enough to give both Matthews and Perry much-needed relief.