The quarterback took off and Clay Matthews was a bull seeing red. Losing all sense of what's legal what's illegal the Green Bay Packers outside linebacker leaped airborne — fully horizontal — and slammed Colin Kaepernick to the turf well out of bounds. "With all the emphasis of him running around and getting him down" Matthews said "I'm sure that weighs on you. It wasn't a smart play." Players from both teams rushed to the scene in a blur of shoving and punching. Bad blood was evident in Green Bay's 34-28 loss to San Francisco. And there will probably be bad blood between Green Bay and whichever team it plays in the future too. This game was a sign of the style the Packers are trying to play in 2013. The result was another loss to the 49ers. This time it was Kaepernick's arm — not his legs — that finished Green Bay. But repeating what they've been saying for weeks players again made it clear they want to play with an edge. Harnessing it all into you know wins is the challenge now. "We wanted to set the tempo for the whole year" nose tackle Ryan Pickett said. "That's how we're going to play all year — we're going to play with an edge. Whoever's next has to be ready for that same thing." The numbers didn't reflect progress. Green Bay was gashed again. Kaepernick threw for 412 yards. Anquan Boldin looked like Jerry Rice. The final result was another loss at Candlestick Park. But even then Matthews and others believe they did send a message. All summer players on defense said how personally they took comments about their toughness over the off-season. This year they vowed to face that perception head on. So San Francisco's read-option wasn't a factor. Matthews had multiple perfectly legal hits on the quarterback. And against the run Pickett B.J. Raji and the front seven held Frank Gore to 44 yards on 21 attempts. They corralled the muscular back between the tackles. The defense is trying to run on emotion this season. In that sense Matthews was encouraged. "We lost. That's the bottom line" Matthews said. "But what I am happy with is the edge that we played with in this game. When you look at the emotion of the defenders that played this game we put it out there.
Packers trying to find an edge on defense
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Sep 9