Clay Matthews III

Last updated

Clay Matthews III
Clay Matthews - San Francisco vs Green Bay 2012.jpg
Matthews III with the Green Bay Packers in 2012
No. 52 – Los Angeles Rams
Position: Outside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1986-05-14) May 14, 1986 (age 32)
Los Angeles, California
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school: Agoura
(Agoura Hills, California)
College: USC
NFL Draft: 2009  / Round: 1 / Pick: 26
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2018
Total tackles:482
Sacks:83.5
Pass deflections:40
Interceptions:6
Forced fumbles:15
Defensive touchdowns:3
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

William Clay Matthews III (born May 14, 1986) is an American football outside linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). After attending Agoura High School in Agoura Hills, California, Matthews was a walk-on student athlete at the University of Southern California for the USC Trojans football team under head coach Pete Carroll. At USC, Matthews was a standout special-teams player, winning three consecutive Special Teams Player of the Year awards from 2006 to 2008. He also played reserve outside linebacker during those years before moving into a starting role his senior season. During his college career, he was a part of three Pac-10 Championship teams.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Los Angeles Rams National Football League franchise in Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team based in Los Angeles, California, and compete in the National Football League's NFC West division. The franchise won three NFL championships, and is the only one to win championships representing three different cities. The Rams play their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

National Football League Professional American football league

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

Contents

Matthews was considered a top prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft. He was ultimately selected by the Packers in the first round of the draft (26th overall) after the team traded up to make the selection. In his rookie year, Matthews recorded 10 sacks while playing outside linebacker. He topped that total in 2010 with 13.5 sacks, helping the Packers to their Super Bowl XLV victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Matthews continued his role as a leading pass rusher, recording at least six sacks in the first nine seasons he played. He also has showed his athleticism and abilities by playing both inside and outside linebacker during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

2009 NFL Draft

The 2009 NFL Draft was the seventy-fourth annual meeting of National Football League (NFL) franchises to select newly eligible football players. The draft took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, on April 25 and 26, 2009. The draft consisted of two rounds on the first day starting at 4:00 pm EDT, and five rounds on the second day starting at 10:00 am EDT. To compensate for the time change from the previous year and in an effort to help shorten the draft, teams were no longer on the clock for 15 minutes in the first round and 10 minutes in the second round. Each team now had 10 minutes to make their selection in the first round and seven minutes in the second round. Rounds three through seven were shortened to five minutes per team. This was the first year that the NFL used this format and it was changed again the following year for the 2010 NFL Draft. The 2009 NFL Draft was televised by both NFL Network and ESPN and was the first to have cheerleaders. The Detroit Lions, who became the first team in NFL history to finish a season at 0–16, used the first selection in the draft to select University of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Super Bowl XLV 2011 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLV was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Green Bay Packers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2010 season. The Packers defeated the Steelers by the score of 31–25. The game was played on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the first time the Super Bowl was played in the Dallas–Fort Worth area.

Pittsburgh Steelers National Football League franchise in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.

A member of the Matthews family of football players, he is the son of former NFL linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. and nephew of Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews.

Matthews family

The Matthews family is a prominent family in American football. One of only three third-generation families to play in the National Football League (NFL), it is often called the "NFL's First Family". Its seven members who have played in the NFL have combined for 24 Pro Bowl invitations, 11 first-team All-Pro selections, and three Super Bowl appearances.

Clay Matthews Jr. American football linebacker

William Clay Matthews Jr. is a former American football linebacker who played for the Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He was the first round draft pick of the Browns and played in 278 games over 19 NFL seasons, the 17th most appearances in league history. Matthews had 1,561 tackles in his career, the third most in NFL history.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Professional sports hall of fame in Canton, Ohio

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for professional American football, located in Canton, Ohio. Opened in 1963, the Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional figures in the sport of professional football, including players, coaches, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, almost all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the National Football League (NFL); the Hall inducts between four and eight new enshrinees each year. The Hall of Fame's Mission is to "Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE."

Early life

Matthews was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Leslie and Clay Matthews Jr., a professional football player. The family has a history of professional football players. Matthews's grandfather was Clay Matthews Sr. His brother is linebacker Casey Matthews, and his uncle is Bruce Matthews. Both brothers were All-Americans in their time in college. He also has cousins involved in football: Kevin Matthews, Jake Matthews, and Mike Matthews.

William Clay Matthews Sr. was an American football tackle and patriarch of the Matthews family of football players. Matthews played for four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL, the first in 1950. His career was interrupted by the Korean War, and Matthews became a paratrooper for the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. In 1953, he returned to the 49ers for three more seasons. He played college football at Georgia Tech and was selected in the 25th round of the 1949 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, but never played for them.

Casey Matthews American football linebacker

Casey Christopher Matthews is a former American football linebacker. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oregon. He is the brother of Clay Matthews III.

Bruce Matthews (American football) American football offensive lineman

Bruce Rankin Matthews is a former American football offensive lineman who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 19 seasons, from 1983 to 2001. He spent his entire career playing for the Houston / Tennessee Oilers / Titans franchise. Highly versatile, throughout his NFL career he played every position on the offensive line, starting in 99 games as a left guard, 87 as a center, 67 as a right guard, 22 as a right tackle, 17 as a left tackle, and was the snapper on field goals, PATs, and punts. Having never missed a game due to injury, his 293 NFL games started is the second most of all time.

High school career

Matthews attended Agoura High School in Agoura Hills, California, where he played for the Agoura Chargers high school football team. Physically, Matthews was a late bloomer. His father was the team's defensive coordinator, but declined to start his son because he was physically undersized. Matthews began developing physically in his senior season, but only garnered interest from Division I FCS schools and local community colleges. [1] He has described his own recruiting status out of high school as "not applicable." [2] Like his father and uncle, Matthews opted to attend the University of Southern California with hopes of becoming a walk-on for the Trojans football team.

High school football Secondary school competition in gridiron football

High school football is gridiron football played by high school teams in the United States and Canada. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both countries. It is also popular amongst American High school teams in Europe.

A late bloomer is a person whose talents or capabilities are not visible to others until later than usual. The term is used metaphorically to describe a child or adolescent who develops slower than others in their age group, but eventually catches up and in some cases overtakes their peers, or an adult whose talent or genius in a particular field only appears later in life than is normal – in some cases only in old age.

A defensive coordinator is a coach responsible for a gridiron football team's defense. Generally, the defensive coordinator and the offensive coordinator represent the second level of a team's command structure, with the head coach being the first level. The primary role of the defensive coordinator is managing the roster of defensive players, overseeing the assistant coaches, developing the defensive game plan, and calling plays for the defense during the game. The defensive coordinator typically manages multiple assistant coaches, each of whom are responsible for various defensive positions on the team.

College career

A college-age picture of Clay Matthews III, standing in a crowd of USC fans 2007-1020-ClayMatthewsIII.jpg
A college-age picture of Clay Matthews III, standing in a crowd of USC fans

Matthews attended the University of Southern California and played for the Trojans from 2004 to 2008 under head coach Pete Carroll. Though he was the son of an All-Pro NFL linebacker, he entered USC as an unheralded, walk-on student athlete. During his first season, USC's 2004 BCS National Championship, he played only on the scout team and turned down several playing opportunities during garbage time during the fourth quarters of games to preserve his redshirt status and remaining seasons of NCAA eligibility. He remained a nonathletic scholarship (a "walk on") reserve linebacker during the 2005 season, and played mainly on special teams. He was granted full athletic scholarship status at the beginning of the 2006 season. Matthews continued to play reserve linebacker in the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and made two starts in 2007 in place of injured teammate Brian Cushing. [1] He was awarded USC's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 and blocked two field goals in the latter season. [3]

A head coach, senior coach, or manager is a professional at training and developing athletes. They typically hold a more public profile and are paid more than other coaches. In some sports, the head coach is instead called the "manager", as in association football and professional baseball. In other sports such as Australian rules football, the head coach is generally termed a senior coach.

Pete Carroll American football player and coach

Peter Clay Carroll is an American football coach who is the head coach and executive vice president of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He is a former head coach of the New York Jets, New England Patriots, and the USC Trojans of the University of Southern California (USC). Carroll is one of only three football coaches who have won both a Super Bowl and a college football national championship. One of Carroll’s greatest accomplishments was masterminding the defense known as the Legion of Boom who led the NFL in scoring defense four years straight becoming the first team to do so since the 1950’s Cleveland Browns. Carroll is the oldest head coach currently working in the NFL.

Student athlete

A student athlete is a participant in an organized competitive sport sponsored by the educational institution in which he or she is enrolled. Student-athletes are full time students and athletes at the same time. Colleges offer athletic scholarships in many sports. Many student athletes are given scholarships to attend these institutions but scholarships are not mandatory in order to be called a student athlete. In the United States, athletic scholarships are largely regulated by either the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which sets minimum standards for both the individuals awarded the scholarships and for the institutions granting them. Also students that are very talented may get scholarships for playing a particular sport. The term student-athlete was coined in 1964 by Walter Byers, the first-ever executive director of the NCAA, to counter attempts to require universities to pay workers' compensation.

During the off season, Matthews committed to weight training and conditioning programs to gain size and improve his performance level and stamina. At the beginning of the 2008 season, defensive coordinator Nick Holt, Carroll, and Norton decided to try using Matthews in a hybrid "elephant" position, where Matthews would stand in the position of defensive end, but use the speed and tactics of a linebacker; the coaches had used Cushing in the position in a similar manner in 2006. [1] The experiment was successful, as Matthews recorded 4.5 sacks while playing alongside his other NFL-bound teammates Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga, and Kaluka Maiava. Furthermore, Matthews continued his spectacular special-teams play and was awarded USC's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2008, making him the only player in USC history to be awarded three consecutive Special Teams Player of the Year awards. Matthews was a participant in the 2009 Senior Bowl and was considered a top prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft. [4]

Matthews was one of 12 senior USC football players, including the four linebackers Cushing, Maiava, Matthews, and Maualuga, attending the by-invitation-only 2009 NFL Scouting Combine. [5] Matthews, alongside fellow USC linebackers Maualuga and Cushing, was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2009 NFL Draft Preview magazine, as all three were regarded as potential first-round selections. [6]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
HtWt 40-yard dash 10-yd split20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 3 18 in
(1.91 m)
240 lb
(109 kg)
4.67 s1.49 s2.71 s4.18 s6.90 s35 12 in
(0.90 m)
10 ft 1 in
(3.07 m)
23 reps26
All values from NFL Combine [7] [8]

Green Bay Packers

On August 7, 2008, the Green Bay Packers traded Brett Favre to the New York Jets for what would become the Jets' third-round draft pick (83rd overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft.

On draft day, April 25, 2009, the Packers traded their second-round pick (41st overall, Darius Butler), their third-round pick (73rd overall, Derek Cox, Jacksonville Jaguars), and the 83rd overall pick acquired for Favre (Brandon Tate) to the New England Patriots for a first-round pick (26th overall) and a fifth-round pick (162nd overall, Jamon Meredith) in that year's draft.

The Packers used the first-round pick obtained from the Patriots to acquire Matthews with the 26th overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Kevin Greene, the former All-Pro linebacker who is third on the all-time sack list with 160 (most ever by a linebacker), was hired by Dom Capers in 2009 to coach the outside linebacker position. He saw a lot of himself in Matthews, but feared the Packers would not be able to draft him. Analysts were shocked when the Packers traded their second- and two third-round draft picks to the New England Patriots to secure Matthews and the fifth-round selection. [9] Analysts did not believe Matthews to be a first-round draft prospect due to his limited playing experience at USC (only starting the final ten games of his senior season.) Greene later stated that Matthews has a "set of skills that I have not seen in an outside linebacker. Clay has a set of skills that I didn't have. He has another gear I didn't have. He's better than Kevin Greene was." [10]

Matthews on the field for the Packers in August 2011 Clay Matthews III 1.jpg
Matthews on the field for the Packers in August 2011

2009 season

Matthews scored his first career touchdown during a Monday Night Football game on October 5, 2009 against the Minnesota Vikings; Matthews stripped the ball from running back Adrian Peterson and ran the ball back for a touchdown. [11] [12]

In Week 10 against the Dallas Cowboys, Matthews had another outstanding game: recording one tackle, recovering two fumbles forced by cornerback Charles Woodson, and sacking Dallas quarterback Tony Romo to make him a nominee again for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. For the second time in as many nominations, he was voted Rookie of the Week for week 10. [13]

In Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, he made three tackles, assisted on two more, and sacked Daunte Culpepper twice. He was nominated for and won the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week award for his performance. [13]

Matthews had arguably the best game in his young career in Week 13 when he was awarded the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award. Matthews had six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the Packers' 27–14 win over the Baltimore Ravens. [14]

In the Packers' December 13, 2009, contest against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, Matthews recorded his eighth sack of the season which put him into a three-way tie with former Packers Tim Harris and Vonnie Holiday for the team record of most sacks in a rookie season (1982–present). [15] The following week, Matthews recorded two more sacks vs the Pittsburgh Steelers to claim the rookie record. [16] [17]

He was added to the 2010 Pro Bowl NFC squad, replacing Lance Briggs. He was the first Packers' rookie to earn a Pro Bowl selection since wide receiver James Lofton in 1978.

Matthews recorded 51 tackles, 10 sacks, seven pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble in his rookie season. He played in all 16 games, starting at ROLB in 13 of them. He led the Packers in QB pressures, with 45.5. He finished third for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, losing to his former USC teammate Brian Cushing. He was named NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year and set the Packer record for most sacks in a season by rookie, with 10.0.

Matthews during the January 15, 2012 game against the New York Giants 2012 Packers vs Giants - Clay Matthews.jpg
Matthews during the January 15, 2012 game against the New York Giants

2010 season

Matthews took a different approach to the game in the 2010 season. After seeing him double-teamed and constantly chipped by running backs in the NFC wild card game against the Arizona Cardinals, Dom Capers decided to move him around the field. Matthews eventually ended up playing mostly at LOLB, but he would roam around the field, playing also at the ROLB position and sometimes in the middle. He finished the season with 60 tackles, 13.5 sacks (fourth in the league), four pass deflections, two forced fumbles, and an interception through 15 games in 2010. He became the first Packer to record six sacks in the first two games of the season and had 8.5 sacks in the first five weeks, but slowed down the latter part of the season (five sacks in the last 10 games due to a stress fracture in his lower leg). Matthews was named to the 2011 Pro Bowl NFC roster for the second straight year and was named to the All-Pro team for the first time in his career. Matthews was awarded with the NFL's defensive player of the month award for September after recording six sacks in the first two weeks of the 2010 season. Matthews recorded a career-high 55.0 quarterback pressures. He was named SN-NFL Defensive Player of the Year and NFC Defensive Player of the Year, and won the Butkus Award. He finished a close second (17 votes to 15) to Troy Polamalu in the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting, notable in that both led their defenses to Super Bowl XLV.

He set the Packers' record for most sacks in a single postseason with 3.5. In the Super Bowl, won by the Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers, he recorded three tackles, a pass deflection, and a game-changing forced fumble. On the first play of the fourth quarter with the Steelers driving to take the lead with the score 21–17 in favor of Green Bay and the ball on the Packer 33 yard line, he tackled Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, who fumbled the ball, recovered by Desmond Bishop. The Packers never lost the lead, winning their fourth Super Bowl title and first since Super Bowl XXXI, 31–25. [18]

2011 season

Matthews finished the 2011 season with 50 tackles, and a career low six sacks despite playing 15 of the 16 games. He led the Packers in quarterback pressures for the third straight season, with 53.5. Although some of his numbers plummeted from the previous season, he improved in other aspects of his game. He recorded a career-high three interceptions, nine pass deflections, and three forced fumbles. He also recorded his third career defensive touchdown by picking off Eli Manning for a pick-six. Matthews played almost exclusively at the LOLB position, not roaming around the field like he did the previous season due to the struggling defense. Matthews did not play a single snap at the ROLB position until Week 11 and finished the entire season with only seven rushes from the ROLB spot. Matthews claimed he had his best overall season despite the low numbers. The Packers struggled to find pass pressure from the side opposite of Matthews and the loss of defensive end Cullen Jenkins due to free agency and safety Nick Collins due to a career-ending neck injury, placed the Packers last in total defense despite leading the league in interceptions, with 31. Linebacker coach Kevin Greene stated that he has never seen a pass rusher get double teamed as much as Clay had that season. The defensive line struggled, finishing the season with six total sacks after recording 18 the year before. Matthews was named to his third-straight Pro Bowl as a starter. Prior to the 2011 season, Matthews was named the second-best pass rusher (second only to DeMarcus Ware) and the fourth-best linebacker in the league by ESPN (behind Patrick Willis, James Harrison, and Ware).

2012 season

Heading into the 2012 season, the defense needed to improve. Finishing with the 32nd-ranked defense in the NFL was described by Matthews as "unacceptable." The Packers picked six straight defensive players in the draft, including Matthews's former teammate, Nick Perry, out of USC. Because of Perry's larger size (10 pounds heavier) and not being accustomed to playing pass coverage, he was put at the LOLB position, and Matthews was moved back to the ROLB position he played at in his rookie year. The Packers hoped that by drafting Perry, as well as Michigan State DE Jerel Worthy and Iowa DE Mike Daniels, opposing teams would no longer be able to consistently double-team Matthews, allowing pressure to open up on all sides.

Matthews playing against the New York Giants in 2012 2012 Packers vs Giants - Clay Matthews 2.jpg
Matthews playing against the New York Giants in 2012

Prior to the 2012 season, Sporting News ranked Matthews as the second-best outside linebacker in the league, only behind Cowboys' star DeMarcus Ware. Matthews started out the season with a bang. He recorded 2.5 sacks in the 30–22 season opener loss to the eventual NFC champion San Francisco 49ers and then posted a career-high 3.5 sacks against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. Matthews became one of only six players in NFL history to record six or more sacks in the first two games of the season, and is the only player ever to do it twice. Entering Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals, he was second in the league in sacks with nine. Matthews had to leave the game in the second half after his left hamstring started to tighten up. He was eventually ruled out for weeks 11 through 13. After missing four straight games with the hamstring injury, Matthews recorded six tackles, two sacks, and a pass deflection in a 21–13 victory over the Chicago Bears. This victory crowned the Packers as NFC North champions for the second year in a row. Matthews totaled three tackles and a sack in a 37–34 season ending loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He finished the season with 43 tackles, 13.0 sacks (fifth in the league), two passes defended, and a forced fumble. Matthews was selected to his fourth straight Pro Bowl, but dropped out due to injury, and was named to the All-Pro team for the second time.

In the off-season, Matthews became the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history when the Packers and he made a deal worth $66 million over the next five seasons.

2013 season

Playing in only 11 games during the 2013 season, Matthews recorded 41 tackles (26 solo), a team-high 7.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. During the Packers' Week 5 matchup with the Detroit Lions on October 6, 2013, Matthews broke his right thumb and missed the next four games. On November 10, in a game at home against the Philadelphia Eagles, he returned to the playing field, donning a large "club" cast over his entire right hand. Without the ability to use his fingers to grab or apply pressure or leverage, Matthews was left to be fairly ineffective during this game. [19] The following week, he returned to the field with a less restrictive device that allowed his fingers to remain free. The device seemed to improve his performance the following week. After completing only two tackles (one solo) with no sacks, stuffs, hits, or hurries on the quarterback against the Philadelphia Eagles, in the Packers' Week 11 match-up against the New York Giants the following week, Matthews had four tackles, including a sack and stuff with the less restrictive device. [20] After the Giants game, Matthews went on to accumulate 4.5 more sacks and 17 tackles (10 solo) over the next five weeks. In Week 16, during the second to last game of the regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Matthews refractured his thumb and was out for the remainder of the season.

2014 season

Prior to the 2014 season, the Packers signed veteran free agent Julius Peppers to bring an additional pass rush to help Matthews. After a Week 8 loss to the New Orleans Saints, where the Packers defense gave up almost 500 yards of offense, including 172 yards rushing from Mark Ingram, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers and head coach Mike McCarthy decided to alter Matthews's position, alternating him between outside linebacker and middle linebacker during games, depending on the play call. The move paid huge dividends for both Matthews and the Packers defense, as the defense improved drastically over the final eight games of the season. After spending the first half of the season ranked near the bottom in the league in defense, the Packers finished the season ranked a respectable 14th in the NFL in total defense. Matthews's sack numbers also increased in the second half of the season. After only getting 2.5 sacks in the first eight games, Matthews had 8.5 sacks in the final eight games, including back-to-back two-sack games against the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Matthews finished the season with 11 sacks, 9 passes defended, one interception (his first since 2011), and two forced fumbles. For the first time in his NFL career, Matthews started every game during the regular season.

2015 season

Matthews entering Lambeau Field before a game in October 2015 Clay Matthews entering the stadium Cropped.jpg
Matthews entering Lambeau Field before a game in October 2015

Matthews helped lead his team to the NFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, a game that it lost 26–20 in overtime. Matthews made comments that the Packers should have touched the ball in overtime and "go to college rules". [21] He was ranked 57th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016. [22]

Matthews was among the athletes indicated in The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers , an Al Jazeera documentary on illegal performance-enhancing drugs use. [23] (In August 2016, after an investigation, the NFL cleared Matthews and two other of its players of wrongdoing, citing "no credible evidence." [24] )

Every Friday during the football season, Matthews appears on Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure on Newsradio 620 WTMJ and discusses football.

2016 season

In the 2016 season, Matthews appeared in 12 games and started nine. He recorded 24 tackles, of which 20 were solo, five sacks, and one forced fumble. Despite posting a career-low in tackles and sacks, Matthews was ranked 82nd by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017. [25]

2017 season

On September 28, 2017, during the Week 4 game against the Chicago Bears, Matthews became the Packers' all-time sacks leader when he sacked the Bears' quarterback Mike Glennon. [26]

2018 season

On June 2, 2018, Matthews, who was pitching to Packers offensive lineman Lucas Patrick in the off-season Green & Gold Charity Softball Game, had a ball hit directly back to him. The line drive resulted in a broken nose for Matthews; surgery followed the incident. [27] During the Packers' training camp for 2018, Matthews has decided to wear a visor to add additional protection for his rhinoplasty. [28] During Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings, Matthews was called for a controversial roughing the passer penalty that nullified an interception with 1:37 left in the fourth quarter. The game ended in a 29–29 tie. [29] During Week 3 against the Washington Redskins, Matthews was again called for roughing the passer, becoming the first player to commit three roughing-the-passer penalties in the first three games of the season since 2001, as the Packers lost 31–17. [30]

After the conclusion of the 2018 season, Matthews became an unrestricted free agent. [31]

Los Angeles Rams

On March 19, 2019, Matthews signed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams. [32]

NFL career statistics

Regular season

YearTeamGamesTacklesInterceptionsFumbles
GPGSCombTotalAstSckIntYdsAvgLngTDPDFumRec
2009 GB 161351371410.0000.000713
2010 GB 15156054613.516262.0621420
2011 GB 15155037136.034715.7381930
2012 GB 121243321113.0000.000210
2013 GB 11114126157.5000.000130
2014 GB 161661541611.014040.0400920
2015 GB 16166649176.514242.0420301
2016 GB 129242045.0000.000310
2017 GB 14144327167.5000.000211
2018 GB 16164329143.5000.000000
Career14313748235612683.5619162240145
Source: NFL.com

Postseason

YearTeamGamesTackles
GPGSCombTotalAstSckInt
2009 GB 115321.00
2010 GB 44161423.50
2011 GB 1154100
2012 GB 229723.00
2014 GB 2210731.00
2015 GB 2210731.50
2016 GB 333301.00
Total151558451311.00
Source: pro-football-reference.com

Personal life

In 2012, Matthews agreed to model and test a Depend adult incontinence brief under his uniform to benefit the Jimmy V Foundation charity. [33] [34] Matthews and his wife have three children together. [35]

Non-sports media appearances

Matthews made an appearance on the February 9, 2011 of WWE Smackdown , [36] when he ran down to the ring to assist in Edge's World Heavyweight Championship match against Dolph Ziggler as a backup referee, as Vickie Guerrero was the original special referee for that match. Guerrero injured her ankle (kayfabe) after trying to spear Edge, and he won the match and the championship after spearing Ziggler twice, while she was being attended to at ringside for her injury. Shortly after the second spear, Matthews ran down to the ring to make the three-count and give Edge the win. [37] This episode took place in Green Bay, the same week the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl XLV after WWE invited the winning team to the show that is taking place in their hometown. [38]

Matthews and his former Packers teammates Josh Sitton, David Bakhtiari, T. J. Lang, and Don Barclay had cameo appearances in the film Pitch Perfect 2 . [39]

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Bruce Irvin (American football) American football defensive end

Bruce Pernell Irvin, Jr. is an American football defensive end for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Irvin won Super Bowl XLVIII over the Denver Broncos, and also played in Super Bowl XLIX where he became the first player ever to be ejected from a Super Bowl. He played college football at West Virginia.

Kawann Short American football defensive tackle

Kawann Arcell Short is an American football defensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Panthers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Purdue.

Anthony Barr (American football) American football outside linebacker

Anthony Barr is an American football outside linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at UCLA, where he was a consensus All-American in 2013. He was drafted by the Vikings in the first round, 9th overall of the 2014 NFL Draft.

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De'Vondre Campbell is an American football linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Hutchinson Community College and the University of Minnesota.

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