Packers keep Clay Matthews moving

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- What will Dom Capers do with Clay Matthews next?

The plan, it would appear, is for the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator to keep opponents guessing.

Matthews, the five-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker, has played 60 snaps at his old position the last two games combined after playing exclusively at inside linebacker in Week 2.

Who knows what Capers will throw at the St. Louis Rams on Sunday?

“I’ve always felt he’d be a Pro Bowl outside or Pro Bowl inside linebacker,” Capers said after Matthews played 24 of his 50 snaps at outside linebacker in Sunday’s win over the 49ers. “But to be able to go back and forth helps the flexibility of your defense. As you guys know against the Seahawks, he was inside the whole time and probably rushed the fewest number of times that he has since he’s been with us, but that was out of necessity. Our job is to figure out what it’s going to take to go win a game each and every week based on who’s available.”

Matthews has three sacks in the last two games, but all three of them have come from the inside linebacker spot, including Sunday’s sack of Colin Kaepernick that prompted Matthews to mock his celebratory kissing-the-biceps move.

“You’re just trying to make the most whenever you’re name is called to create pressure on the quarterback,” Matthews said. “I felt for the most part especially on those inside pressures we were able to get him uncomfortable. Even though we missed the one -- I missed the one -- early in the game it led to another three and out for our defense.”

Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the defensive performance from Sunday’s game:

Total defensive plays: 50

Defensive line

Notes: Pennel started in the base 3-4 but Guion still got more work in his first game since returning from a three-game suspension. He was not credited with any tackles and might have to shake off some rust. Jones and Daniels didn’t get credit for any sacks but their push helped set up two of the six sacks of Kaepernick.


Notes: All six sacks came from the linebackers – two by Perry and one each by Matthews, Peppers, Neal and Elliott. Palmer played in the base and nickel, but Thomas replaced him in the dime, which allowed Matthews to move outside.

Defensive backs

Notes: Shields showed his remarkable closing speed when he picked off a Kaepernick deep ball intended for Anquan Boldin in the fourth quarter. Hayward appeared to be at fault on the 49ers second-longest play from scrimmage, a 40-yard shovel sweep to Quinton Patton. Randall allowed the longest play, a 47-yard pass to Torrey Smith, but also had a pass breakup. Safety Morgan Burnett missed his third game out of the last four because of a recurring calf injury.