Clay Matthews only needed three games with Rams to top 2018 sack total
By Dan Parzych
Clay Matthews continues to be a great addition on the defensive side of the football for the Los Angeles Rams.
Back in the offseason when the Los Angeles Rams announced that Clay Matthews would be coming on board following his release from the Green Bay Packers, there were plenty of critics that questioned the move.
Right away, the assumption was that if Matthews couldn’t find a way to stick it out with the Packers team he spent the first 10 years of his career with, why should the Rams feel confident in the linebacker being a key part of the defense?
In defense of Matthews, there were plenty of intriguing reasons to bring him on board, with his veteran leadership to mentor some of the younger defenders arguably being the top reason.
For a linebacker that previously recorded double-digit sacks in three of his first five NFL seasons, it’s easy to understand why Packers fans were disappointed to watch Matthews only record 3.5 sacks in 16 starts during the 2018 campaign.
But for all Rams fans knew, Matthews just needed a fresh start on a new team to start playing at a high level again, and look like the dominant linebacker from early on in his career, which appears to be exactly the game.
Sunday night in general was already going to be special for Matthews and his family since the Cleveland Browns recognized his father at halftime by adding him to the team’s Ring of Honor, but Matthews found a way to make things even more exciting.
By sacking Baker Mayfield twice (could have been three if it weren’t for a penalty), Matthews not only recorded his first multi-sack game of the year for Los Angeles, but also bumped his total to four sacks on the season, meaning he’s already topped his 2018 numbers.
Matthews clearly still has a long way to go with the Rams since it’s only been three games, but just watching him get to the opposing quarterback in each game so far shows once again how great of a decision this was during the offseason.
Even though Matthews may not be part of the long-term plans for Los Angeles since he just turned 33 in May, if he can help the Rams win a Super Bowl in the meantime, this is what really matters the most.
And who knows, maybe if the Rams are lucky, Matthews will find a way to top his career high of 13.5 sacks set during the 2010 season to help Los Angeles continue to have a top defensive unit in the league.