So the Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers, maybe the NFL’s best young quarterback, and a running game all of a sudden, and the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year in CB Charles Woodson. They now have the 2010 edition as well, with LB Clay Matthews picking up the Sporting News honor today.
In his second pro season, Matthews collected 13.5 sacks, 54 tackles, and a 62-yard pick six. Matthews was held without a sack in the teams’ first meeting, his first sackless game in four weeks. SN got a quote from Atlanta Falcons DE John Abraham on the occasion:
He still plays with a chip on his shoulder, even though he’s made it to the Pro Bowl. … When he isn’t getting sacks, he’s doing things to cause fumbles. He’s doing a lot, especially for a linebacker.
Troy Polamalu, Cameron Wake, James Harrison, and Julius Peppers rounded out the top five SN voting. Abraham’s top-five sack total puts him in the conversation, but his tackle numbers don’t really stack up against the others.