UnPACK the Play: Clay Matthews’ Sacks Kyle Orton

The Packers defense did enough to win in this game, holding the Bills to just 19 points until yet clayanother safety (by rule) gave them 21. Funny…I said that I feared this game would be too similar to the Lions game and another safety…hmmm.

But let’s take a look at Clay Matthews’ sack up close. It all starts with down and distance. This is a 3rd and 17 which means Dom Capers can put on a high risk/high reward defensive play and try to get to Kyle Orton before a receiver gets far enough downfield. In case of a catch, the hope is that the receiver can be brought down in front of the sticks. 

Hayward gets a great lane and gets home but does not complete the sack:


In the meantime though, Clay Matthews drops in behind the jumble of linemen, effectively disappearing from view. The running back sees the blitz and is forced left to fill. The minute he turns his shoulders, Clay uses his speed to come around and finish the job Casey started.


The timing was perfect. The only negative on this play was that Hayward has to complete the sack. His blitz left the receiver wide open with only HHCD there to make a play. Hayward did, however, come in fast and make it impossible for Orton to set his feet and make the throw. The crossing route was also open in the space vacated by Matthews but Matthews got there on time and the play was a success.


So in a game that ended in a loss, the Packers defense did enough and showed real grit against a good offensive line and a solid corps of wider receivers. This was the right call at the right time and the timing was excellent. And the next time Casey Hayward gets a shot…that sack will be his!

Go Pack!

UnPACK the Play: Clay Matthews’ Sacks Kyle Orton
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