Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52) sacks Chicago
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the second half of an
NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.
GREEN BAY — As much
as Mike McCarthy liked what he saw on Sunday night, the Green Bay
Packers coach wanted to make it clear that defensive star Clay
Matthews does not have a new full-time position.
is not an inside linebacker," McCarthy said on Monday, one day
after Matthews had a career-high 11 tackles and one sack while
dividing his time between inside and outside linebacker in the
Packers' 55-14 rout of the Chicago Bears. "He's a football
And against the
Bears, he was a good one.
"I thought he
had an outstanding football game. He was able to impact the game in a
lot of different areas," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said
"He's still in
our third downs and was rushing from outside. We were able to rush him
from both inside and outside, and he flowed to the ball and had a lot
of production. It worked the way we wanted it to work."
Looking to bolster
their NFL-worst run defense and get their best 11 players on the field
at the same time, McCarthy and Capers lined Matthews up at inside
linebacker for 38 of the 53 snaps he played.
It was a wrinkle
they'd come up with during the offseason and training camp but
installed after the team's bye, intent on using it against the rival
Earlier in the
season, the Packers had Matthews moving around their defense pre-snap
But many of the times
he lined up in the middle of the defense, it was when they were using
a four-man front with only three linebackers.
Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52) tackles
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) during the first half
of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis.
On Sunday, Matthews
was used as an inside linebacker in the Packers' nickel defense —
two down linemen, four linebackers, five defensive backs — and then
shifted to his normal outside position to rush the passer off the edge
in the dime group.
With Matthews working
inside, former starting inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore was
inactive for the game and 2012 first-round draft pick Nick Perry
started in Matthews' customary outside position.
(during the offseason) was to play more players on defense, move Clay
around and create challenges for the offense," said McCarthy,
whose Packers (6-3) are one game behind the Detroit Lions (7-2) in the
NFC North. The Packers host Philadelphia at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
"We'll see where
he plays this week."
Capers also wouldn't
say if Matthews' move is permanent.
"Every week your
plan is a little different depending on what you feel you've got to do
to win the game," Capers said.
And while players had
the day off for "Victory Monday," Matthews chose his words
carefully when asked how he liked his new position.
"I don't know. I
mean, I was in great position to make a lot of plays and I think
that's ultimately the reason why we needed to make a few changes
around here," Matthews said.
taken pride in whatever they've asked me to do, so you put me in
position where there's some free space and some opportunities to make
some plays, I took advantage of it. So, I think this is what we wanted
out of this change and we'll see what that means going forward."
Rushing from the
outside, Matthews actually had two sacks, although the second was
nullified when he was flagged for a personal foul for striking Bears
quarterback Jay Cutler in the head. Matthews' best play came late in
the second quarter, when the Bears ran an end-around to wide receiver
Matthews began the
play lined up inside, but shifted outside just before the snap, the
Bears failed to locate him and he dropped Williams for an 8-yard loss
just as he got the ball.
"He almost took
the handoff and hit the reverse guy in the backfield," Capers
said. "Those are the types of things that you like to see. I
think they create more problems for preparation when they aren't sure
exactly where Clay is going to be."
The only drawback for
the Packers is that the Eagles won't be surprised by seeing Matthews
moving around, as the Bears were.
benefit of an unscouted look," McCarthy said. "Now, Week 2
will be different and it obviously goes away. But it has its benefits
the first time out of the box."
The Packers' defense,
which was up-and-down during the first half of the season, hopes it
has more surprises and more good performances ahead.
The Bears only
managed 55 yards rushing on 24 attempts. In the teams' Sept. 28
meeting, Chicago ran for 235 yards — and turned the ball over three
times on a pair of Cutler interceptions and a fumble on a sack.
"Our goal is
this second half of the season to play with more consistency in what
we did. I thought we had some very good defensive outings the first
half of the season, but there was too much inconsistency," Capers
"We know we have
a really good, productive offensive team coming in here (in the
Eagles) this week, that it's going to take a really good effort
"As you look
around this league, with every team, there aren't many who haven't had
a few of those tough bumps in the road. Our goal is to hopefully keep
that arrow pointing up this second half of the season."
GREEN BAY — The
Green Bay Packers are offering standing-room-only tickets for the
first time through a trial run at Lambeau Field.
Football fans were
able to stand and watch Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears from a
section at the south end of the field. The section was selected with
restrooms, concessions and space in mind, according to Aaron Popkey,
directors of public affairs for the Packers.
"The view is
unbeatable from here," said Matthew Rooyakkers, one of the fans
who stood in the standing room only section.
The team offered 200
tickets for $75 apiece. They sold out within a couple of hours after
they went on sale last week.
"I can't sit
down as it is, so it was perfect," said Paul Landeros, who drove
21 hours from Texas to take advantage of the standing-room-only offer.
The Packers also
offered standing-room-only tickets for the game next Sunday against
the Philadelphia Eagles, but they're already sold out, WLUK-TV (http://bit.ly/1srx5zA
"We knew we
wanted to have the capability of doing it here. It's just a matter of
getting to a point where we feel comfortable giving it a try and we
do," Popkey said.
tickets could be offered for high-demand games again next season.