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Niners-Packers matchup of the day: Tuesday

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Nov. 30, 2010 @ 1:02 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Here’s a look at a key matchup heading into the Week 13 game between the Packers and Niners at Lambeau Field.

Packers LOLB Clay Matthews vs. Niners ORT Anthony Davis

Matthews, who continues to lead the league in sacks with 11½ (one more than Miami’s Cameron Wake), had a very ordinary effort in the Week 12 loss in Atlanta. Granted, Matthews’ pass-rushing didn’t come into play nearly as much as it usually does, as he dropped into coverage against the Falcons much more than usual. But when he did rush the passer, he was held in check pretty effectively by OLT Tyson Clabo, registering only three tackles with no sacks or QB hits despite being double-teamed roughly only one-third of the game

This Sunday, the odds are strong that Matthews will be bringing it a lot more off the edge matched up against Davis, who at times this season has been flat-out awful. But the Niners’ first-round rookie could be feeling a lot better about himself coming off what was by far his best effort of the season in San Francisco’s dominant 27-6 victory over the Cardinals in Week 12.

Davis greatly outplayed Cardinals Pro Bowler Darnell Dockett, and while it should be noted that Dockett was obviously hindered by a nasty shoulder stinger, Davis’ effort was most impressive. There is no denying his considerable physical gifts, but he has had problems with false starts much of the season and, until his last game, had been considered a pretty big disappointment with a lot to learn by most daily team observers.

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