Packers LB Clay Matthews has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 16.
Matthews had 2 1/2 of the defense's season-high seven sacks in the 20-3 win over the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday. He led a defensive effort that held Tampa Bay to just 109 total yards, the fewest given up by Green Bay in a game in eight years. Matthews had six total tackles in the game as the Packers allowed just 16 yards rushing, the third fewest given up in a game by Green Bay since the 1970 league merger.
With his 2 1/2 sacks, Matthews posted multiple sacks in consecutive games for the third time in his career, and he reached double digits in sacks for the fourth time. He had recorded two sacks the previous week at Buffalo and now has a team-high 10 on the season.
Matthews has now won the player of the week award four times in his career, tying Charles Woodson for the most by a Packers defensive player in team history.
Earlier this week, Head Coach Mike McCarthy said he thought Matthews was having the best season of his career, given everything he's been asked to do, including shifting to inside linebacker in certain packages to help the run defense.
On Tuesday, Matthews was named to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time, and he diffused any speculation of controversy or discontent over not being voted one of the team's two defensive captains last week. Those honors went to Julius Peppers and Morgan Burnett.
"Just because I don't have a 'C' on my chest doesn't mean I'm not a captain," Matthews said. "I know my voice is heard out there. I know these guys rally around me, the way I play, the way I talk out there."