More On The Shutout Against The Lions

Please tell me that LB Clay Matthews is never coming off field again. From the Press-Gazette:

Matthews played every snap at right outside linebacker for the first time on Sunday and turned in a performance worthy of a player taken 26th overall in the draft.

Yes! Every time I saw LB Brady Poppinga playing at right OLB I wondered why. I didn't notice him on Sunday, except on special teams, but I wasn't exactly taking a roster count on every play either. Big thanks to Rob Demovsky for confirming it. Not that I think Matthews was personally responsible for the shutout, but he's clearly outplayed Poppinga.

Also ILB Nick Barnett played on every defensive snap, to the detriment of ILB A.J. Hawk. But that might be a good thing. From the Press-Gazette:

On the 19-yarder in the second quarter, FB Jerome Felton’s lead block picked off buck ILB A.J. Hawk too easily and several players made technique errors against the draw...

With Capers employing a nickel defense on 39 of 48 snaps (81.3 percent) against Scott Linehan’s three-wide offense, Hawk played only nine snaps and didn’t register a tackle.

I earlier blamed Matthews for the penalty that brought back the opening 99 yard TD return, but apparently G Evan Dietrich-Smith really was to blame. From the Press-Gazette:

Rookie OL Evan Dietrich-Smith might have gotten away grabbing around DE Copeland Bryan’s left shoulder, but officials had no choice but to wipe away WR Jordy Nelson’s 99-yard TD on the opening kickoff once Dietrich-Smith threw Bryan to the ground.

I like FB John Kuhn, but I don't think he's a good lead blocker. They were better last season when FB Korey Hall started. As the running game is struggling again this season, lots of fingers are being pointed, and it's time to point them at Kuhn. Remember when the Packers started getting some good running plays in the 4th quarter? From the Press-Gazette:

FB Quinn Johnson punctuated his NFL debut with a devastating pancake block on one running play and a decent lead on RB Ryan Grant’s 22-yard gain in the fourth quarter...

With Johnson on the field, the Packers ran 17 times for 72 yards (4.2 average), compared to 10 for 24 (2.4) without him.

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