Packers: Can Green Bay Survive Without Clay Matthews?

For the third straight week, the Green Bay Packers will be without the services of Pro-Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy announced the news today and said that even though Matthews has now missed three straight games and four total this season, it’s still not a long-term concern.

But how big a concern will be it on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans?

Some many not know this, but the Titans actually have a top-10 offense and a running game that is currently ranked third in the NFL behind the resurgent season of DeMaro Murray. Tennessee is fresh off a 476-yard performance in a game in which they scored 35 points.

The Titans (4-5) are also still in the AFC playoff hunt and just like the Packers (4-4) they are in desperate need of a win. But with Matthews out, it becomes a tougher task for Green Bay.

Not only is Matthews one of the Packers best run defenders, he is their best pass rusher. He’s also one of their biggest ball hawks and impact players.

Overall, the Green Bay defense has been sound and ranks seventh in the NFL in yards allowed. But the splash plays have been missing, especially lately and Matthews absence is a big reason why.

With Matthews out, Julius Peppers, Nick Perry and Datone Jones need to step up. Their production has been woeful in recent weeks and with the Packers secondary still banged up, if the pass rush fails, it could be a long day.

In a must-win game, it would be nice to have all hands on deck. But unfortunately, that won’t happen anytime soon for the Packers, who will just have to find a way to survive and live on for another week without Clay.

chris peterson

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