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Clay Matthews

Fifth best defender in the NFL?

After last week’s edition of ESPN’s NFL power rankings, top helmets in the NFL, I half expected this week’s edition to focus on best colors. Of course, they went and pulled something somewhat relevant out — top 10 defensive players.

[intlink id=”454″ type=”category”]Clay Matthews[/intlink] was the only member of the Green Bay Packers to make the top 10, finishing fifth. [intlink id=”386″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] safety Troy Polamalu was the consensus No. 1.

Also ranking ahead of Matthews was [intlink id=”140″ type=”category”]Dallas Cowboys[/intlink] outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, [intlink id=”69″ type=”category”]New York Jets[/intlink] cornerback Darrelle Revis and [intlink id=”89″ type=”category”]San Francisco 49ers[/intlink] inside linebacker Patrick Willis.

Matthews received three second-place votes, but finished no higher than fifth on the remaining five ballots. He finished two points behind Willis and four behind Revis.

Cornerback [intlink id=”143″ type=”category”]Charles Woodson[/intlink] finished just out of the rankings at No. 12, finishing with five points. [intlink id=”343″ type=”category”]Baltimore Ravens[/intlink] safety Ed Reed was 10th with 14.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. iltarion May 24, 2011

    Pulumulu (as I call him) is the most overrated player in football. He is vulnerable in coverage and oft-injured.

    Patrick Willis isn’t far behind. He is a very good LB, yes, but the middle LB (see Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher) is a historically mis-rated position. Getting a lot of tackles usually either means your DL is so good no one is ever around to block you, or that they are so bad that you have to be relied on to make all the tackles. The guys with the most tackles typically come from bad defenses.

    Darrell Revis is a great player, but his affect on a defense is overrated. Having one great corner means nothing. Having 3 great corners means a lot.

    For best defensive players, I would have to go with guys that can both rush the passer and stop the run, or make big plays in the running game.

    1. Clay Matthews
    2. Julius Peppers
    3. DeMarcus Ware
    4. James Harrison
    5. Charles Woodson

  2. Fromage May 24, 2011

    Is it just me, or does it seem like the Packers aren’t getting much respect? For a Super Bowl champ, they have been pretty much ignored. You would think the Steeler’s or Cowboy’s had won the big game.

    Polamalu was also voted defensive player of the year (after Matthews was told he won it). In the Super Bowl, Polamalu was a nonfactor and Matthews played at a level that showed the world why he deserved the award. I suspect that these b.s. rankings and awards will simply further fuel the fire that burns in the belly of players who have been discounted and overlooked time and again. Bottom line, no award is as important as a Super Bowl win. The Pack won and are going to want to go out and prove the world wrong, again.

  3. Soren May 25, 2011

    …where the he.. is Tramon Williams name? Fromage – I agree – prove those dweebs at ESPN wrong…again…! SuperBowl BABY!

    Oh and as a quick extra note: this season (if there is one) will be owned by Matthews, Burnett and Elmore.

  4. Truth Bringer July 9, 2011


    Yeah and Matthews III was the only reason the Steelers were in the game, running at him 13 times for 65 yards and 2 touchdowns…

    Matthews isn’t even a top 10 defensive player