Matthews has 3 sacks, Packers beat Bills 34-7
Clay Matthews was here.
Matthews sacked Edwards three times and the Green Bay Packers' defense dominated a sluggish Bills offense in a 34-7 victory at Lambeau Field on Sunday. That's six sacks in two games for Matthews — not bad for a guy who sat out most of training camp with a hamstring injury.
Is he getting into opposing quarterbacks' heads?
"I hope so," Matthews said. "That's what we strive for, especially as pass rushers: To get there and get him off his game by hitting him early and often."
Aaron Rodgers compared Matthews to a player the Packers (2-0) will try to fend off next Monday night, Chicago's Julius Peppers.
"Just glad he's on our team," Rodgers said.
Rodgers threw for 255 yards with touchdowns to Donald Driver and James Jones and scrambled for another score. But Rodgers wasn't really happy with his attempt at a "Lambeau leap" into the grandstands after his TD scramble.
"The guys gave me a hard time on the sideline, but I told them, 'Look, I was tired,'" Rodgers said.
Fred Jackson rushed for a touchdown, the only score of the game for Buffalo (0-2). The Bills managed only 186 yards of total offense.
"We're not playing to the ability we're capable of," Jackson said. "I think everybody in the locker room feels that way. We've got to go back tomorrow and look at film and be highly critical of ourselves. We all have some areas we can look at and improve on, including myself."
The Bills brought in coach Chan Gailey to help revive a dormant offense, but it hasn't happened yet. After managing only 166 yards of total offense in their season-opening loss to Miami, they weren't much better Sunday.
"If I had the answers, I would've used them during the game," Gailey said. "Obviously we don't have those answers right now. We're trying to find the right combination of people and schemes to get this thing right, and it's not a quick-fix proposition."
Edwards was 11 of 18 for 102 yards, throwing interceptions to linebacker Brandon Chillar and rookie safety Morgan Burnett — who ripped the ball away from wide receiver Roscoe Parrish.
The Bills gained zero net yards in the first quarter but still managed to make it a game, going into halftime trailing 13-7. Chillar then intercepted Edwards on the first series of the second half, setting up Rodgers' 7-yard touchdown pass to Driver for a 20-7 Packers lead.
It was a relatively quiet game for Packers running back Brandon Jackson, who rushed for 29 yards and a touchdown. Jackson became the starter this week after a season-ending ankle injury to Ryan Grant against the Eagles.
John Kuhn, a fullback serving as Jackson's primary backup, actually outrushed Jackson, gaining 36 yards.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the running game was "OK" and acknowledged that it is a work in progress.
"It's a little difficult when you use running back by committee," McCarthy said. "It's a little harder for those guys to get into the flow and I understand that. So we'll continue to go that way and try to spread that ball around."
The Packers made a significant lineup change during the game, pulling veteran left tackle Chad Clifton for first-round draft pick Bryan Bulaga. McCarthy noted that Clifton missed time in practice this week because of lingering knee issues and didn't look like himself.
"He didn't look good today," McCarthy said. "He didn't look like he was healthy."
It didn't matter, because the Bills offense couldn't really move the ball.
Gailey knows it will be a challenge to keep his players' attitudes upbeat.
"That's always the challenge, to be honest with you," Gailey said. "The objective of the game is to win. When you don't win, first of all, if you feel OK about losing, we don't want you around. It better hurt when you lose. If guys are not hurt and down a little bit right now, I'm worried about them, I don't want them around. I think for the most part our guys understand we can be a good football team, but we're not and we've got to get there."
Notes: McCarthy said OLB Brad Jones and NT B.J. Raji had knee injuries but both returned to the game. S Nick Collins also had a hip flexor. McCarthy said he didn't expect any of the injuries to be a major issue this week. ... Bills G Andy Levitre had a stinger during the game, but Gailey said he didn't think the injury was bad. ... The Bills didn't get a first down until the final play of the opening quarter. ... The Packers were 7-for-12 on third down.
Last updated: 2:56 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012