So Packer-Bear week has kicked off in fine fashion with some members of the Bears talking trash. Now the big headlines were taken up by Brandon Marshall and his rather odd press conference...although I have to commend him on his use of props and soundtrack in the press conference. But he’s not the only Bear talking a big game coming into this match up with the Packers, J’Marcus Webb has decided to join his teammate as well.
Now I’m not sure what exactly Webb means when he says he’s going to "rock the left side" on Sunday. It’s unusual to find an offensive lineman who is willing to talk trash. It’s even rarer to find an offensive lineman who talks trash the week after his starting quarterback got knocked out of the game. This is especially the case when one of those defenders putting the game ending lick on your QB is a guy you were supposed to block. But J’Marcus Webb doesn't follow those rules.
Webb has long been a question mark at one of the most valuable spots on the offensive line. He is a player that has tremendous upside, and the coaching staff seems to believe in him….but he has been a scapegoat for many of the offensive line woes. Then again, he might be the only offensive lineman for the Bears who has not been benched since our Week 2 meeting as well….so he can’t be all bad, right?
Speaking of the Week 2 meeting, Webb did not exactly do well against Clay Matthews that day. PFF graded him out at a -3.0 that day, and noted that expecting Webb to block Matthews one on one is simply "unrealistic." Webb did struggle against Matthews, allowing two sacks and earned a public scolding topped off by a rather aggressive bump by Jay Cutler. Not exactly the type of performance I would expect any player to really come back and start making boasts about their play for the coming week.
For the Packers the return of Clay Matthews is absolutely critical because they basically have no pass rush without him. I wish I could sugar coat for you my dear readers, but that’s the harsh truth. In the four games while Matthews was out the Packers have seven sacks. Not bad, until you consider that five of those came the first week of Matthews’ absence in Detroit. In that game Ryan Pickett had a career day and was a one man wrecking crew in the pass rush. This was completely uncharacteristic of him and when he returned to his normal run stuffing specialty the Packers racked up a total of two sacks in three games….and one of those two sacks was a team sack that came from who knows where in our latest game against Detroit. Yeah, it was that bad.
If the Packers want the "the same old Jay" to come out this weekend and start throwing picks then the Packers are going to have to get pressure on him. So far the only Packer currently on this roster and not on IR that can do that is Clay Matthews. I know it, you know it, and the Bears know it too….so expect lots of chipping from TE’s and RB’s towards Matthews to try and help Webb slow Matthews down.
No matter how much help that the Bears give, it’s still up to Webb do his job and stop Clay. So far he has struggled to that in the match ups he and Matthews have had in the recent past. So Webb had better "rock the left side" this weekend, because if he can’t then the Bears are in trouble.
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