Here’s a look at a key matchup heading into the Week Nine prime-time battle between the Packers and Cowboys.
Packers LOLB Clay Matthews vs. Cowboys ORT Marc Colombo
Playing well enough to be a serious contender for league defensive MVP honors, Matthews is certain to garner lots of prime-time attention from NBC’s Sunday-night broadcasting team. Matthews was held in check throughout most of the Packers’ upset win over the Jets by ORT Damien Woody, who had help from another blocker against Matthews a little more than a quarter of the time. But Matthews still remained an active presence with five tackles and came up with a huge sack when it counted most in the game’s late stages, making a great move on Woody.
In Colombo, Matthews will be facing a savvy veteran in his ninth pro season who has had his share of problems staying healthy. Foot and ankle injuries ended Colombo’s ’09 campaign after nine games, and he has missed one game with a back injury this season and is not considered a lock to be able to play Sunday evening. The 6-8, 320-pound Colombo has long arms that could alter Matthews’ path to Cowboys QB Jon Kitna off the edge, and he is as feisty as they come. But Colombo is relatively slow afoot, which could be something Matthews can take advantage of, particularly as the game wears on. He also has struggled this season more often than not (five penalties, three sacks allowed), as have most of Dallas' O-linemen.