FanPost

Injuries to Panthers mean Opportunities for Matthews and Finley

The injuries keep coming for the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers best defender, Jon Beason, suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Starting right tackle Jeff Otah has been diagnosed with a concussion and will miss Sunday's game against the Superbowl Champion Green Bay Packers. The perfect storm seems to be brewing for two star players on the Packers roster, OLB Clay Matthews and TE Jermichael Finley, to break out with big time performances.

Matthews went without a sack in the opener against the Saints, but did get pressure and hits on Drew Brees that impacted the game. Matthews was quite dissatisfied with the performance the Packers defense put together against the Saints high powered offense. This week he'll have opportunites to tee off against a backup right tackle and a rookie quarterback. Clay will have his work cut out for him, facing an athlete like Cam Newton will stretch the field horizontally and vertically. Matthews will have to be ready to chase down and wrap up the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner.

The biggest mismatch in the league will find even more space to work with, as star middle linebacker Job Beason is vacated from the middle of the field by a season ending injury. Passes over the middle will be the key to taking advantage of a backup MLB, who will struggle to fill and guard passing lanes. I expect big things from Jermichael Finley this weekend (and James Starks too!)

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