This time, the Green Bay Packers survived without Matthews, winning three of the four games they went without the injured outside linebacker.
That counts for progress from 2010, when he missed the final quarter of a close game at Washington and the entire game the following week at home against Miami, and the Packers lost both times.
As Press-Gazette reporter Pete Dougherty writes, it’s looking like Matthews has a decent shot at returning from a pulled hamstring this week at Chicago. But back or not, don’t let the recent 3-1 record without him deceive. The Packers miss Matthews something fierce. It’s as evident as ever they have no shot at the Super Bowl without him.
Last week’s 27-20 win over Detroit was as stark a display of Matthews’ value as any of the games he’s missed. The Packers simply had no pass rush and also missed him against the run.
You can read more of Dougherty’s analysis here: http://tinyurl.com/b2zkyjm
*In our scouting report for the Bears, Dougherty dissects Chicago’s passing offense and the emergence of Brandon Marshall, but also the poor pass protection quarterback Jay Cutler has had this season, ranking 29th in the league in sack percentage (http://tinyurl.com/blyu9ab).
*Our Packers notebook leads with the addition of 6-foot-1, 317-pound defensive lineman Jordan Miller, who was promoted off the practice squad on Tuesday after the Packers were left with only four defensive linemen against Detroit because of injuries to C.J. Wilson (knee) and Mike Neal (shoulder).
To make room for Miller, the Packers parted ways again with outside linebacker Vic So’oto (http://tinyurl.com/b7fxe95).