Thursday, December 11, 2014

Marrone: Matthews a threat from any spot on the field


The Green Bay Packers defense may have been brought back down to Earth last week against the Atlanta Falcons, but the Buffalo Bills won't be taking anything for granted.

That goes double for dealing with linebacker Clay Matthews.

The 28-year-old has been a menace for opposing offenses this season, leading Green Bay's unit in sacks and sliding from inside linebacker to the outside with relative ease. His positioning will be a key component to their game plan Sunday, an aspect coach Doug Marrone has made sure not to overlook.

"Inside allows him to make plays from sideline to sideline. Outside, from the pass rush standpoint, it gives him half a field," Marrone said via "I think they’re doing a good job of moving him around and putting him in the best position to defend whatever offense they’re going against."
The four games prior to their meeting with the Falcons, Matthews and Co. were allowing only 19 points per game on average and 342 total yards. Atlanta put up 37 points -- 20 in the fourth quarter alone -- and 465 yards in their loss, thanks to the play of quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones.
Matthews attributes much of that to a lack of pressure in the backfield.
"You look at last week and the success the Falcons had at passing the ball, and it came at times where we weren't able to make the quarterback uncomfortable," Matthews told reporters Wednesday. "Granted, a lot of those were three-step drops and quick passes, which it's difficult to get there. But ultimately you look at the success we've had against certain offenses and quarterbacks, I think pressure's been a direct result of interceptions and turnovers on our behalf on defense, as well as limiting the number of big plays and passing yards."
Protecting Kyle Orton has been somewhat of an issue for the Buffalo offensive line this season, allowing their quarterbacks to be hit on 22 percent of their total drop backs. They'll need to do better than the four sacks and seven QB hits they allowed in their loss to Denver, especially with Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers -- who has five sacks of his own -- in the mix this weekend, as well.
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