Desperate to patch the holes in their
They thought inside the box.
At the midway point of the season, after giving up 172 yards rushing in a 44-23 loss at New Orleans, they moved
The statistical impact was dramatic, with the Packers going from 32nd against the run in the first eight games (153.5 yards per game) to sixth in the last eight (86.4).
"I think if you look at the change of where we were in Week 8 and bye week into now, and obviously, statistics will show that we're moving in the right direction," Matthews, a former USC standout, said Thursday during a break from preparations for Sunday's
"Both individually and as a team, a defense really. Obviously, we're winning games and I'm making plays so as long as that's happening, we're doing something right."
Opposing teams who can't slow the run against the
When the Seahawks played host to the Packers in the Kickoff Opener, Lynch ran for 110 yards in 20 carries with a pair of touchdowns, and Seahawks defensive end
"Obviously we were the more physical team today, offensively and defensively," Bennett said after that Week 1 game. "I saw supposedly some of the best players in the league not want to tackle Marshawn Lynch. Of course nobody is going to say nothing about that, but I saw a lot of guys whiff on tackles that should have been two-yard gains, and they're supposed to be the best."
The Packers had their bye week after their eighth game, and that's when they made the change, moving in Matthews and Sam Barrington, and moving out
Since 2011, Lynch ranks first in the NFL with 24 100-yard games and is the only player during that span to rush for at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns each year.
"We're going to have to gang tackle," Matthews said. "We understand that he's going to make his plays; if there's one thing we have to understand is you have to get back and do it for four quarters."
By moving Matthews inside, the Packers were able to get more playing time on the outside for linebackers
"We don't know how they're going to use him," said Seattle Coach
Carroll, meanwhile, poked a little fun at his own coaching decisions at USC when it came to Matthews and assessing his value on the field.
"When Clay came in, he was 208 pounds and he didn't run really well," he said. "He wasn't really strong but he loved playing and he tried really hard. Unfortunately, this is one of the great mistakes that I missed in my coaching at 'SC, how good of a player he was.
"Maybe his junior year somebody asked me about Clay Matthews and I said, 'I think he may be one of the better special-teamers to ever play at USC.' … It's really one of my big misses. I should have figured that out a lot sooner than I did. He made the rest of it history, and has been an extraordinary player ever since."
Neither Carroll, nor his players, will lose track of Matthews now.