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Clay Matthews’ hit was the play of the game

NFL Super Bowl Football AP

When the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLV started, the Packers had the lead, but the Steelers had all the momentum.

And then, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews changed that.

Matthews burst through the line and drilled Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall three yards behind the line of scrimmage, forcing a fumble that Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop recovered. On the Packers’ ensuing possession they scored to expand their lead to 28-17, and that hit from Matthews proved to be the play of the game.

“I was able to get around my guy and make a solid hit right on the football,” Matthews said after the game. “I wasn’t sure that it had come out until I looked up and saw Desmond with the ball.”

For the Packers, the hit was emblematic of the style of play Matthews has delivered for the two years he’s been on the team, two years in which he’s been as good as any defensive player in football. But Matthews wanted to put the spotlight on his defensive teammates.

“We have been playing team defense all season and this was just another case of that tonight,” Matthews said. “I am so proud of our defense.”

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31 Responses to “Clay Matthews’ hit was the play of the game”
  1. thehighhat says: Feb 6, 2011 11:05 PM

    Desmond Bishop, Cal Bear, San Francisco native… You made us all proud as all of San Francisco was rooting for the Brett Favre-free Packers!!! You and Aaron made us proud!

  2. clay52 says: Feb 6, 2011 11:06 PM

    Defensive player of the year???, i guess he will just have to settle with a lombardi trophy!!!

  3. theviperstrikes says: Feb 6, 2011 11:09 PM

    Clay Matthews=Triple H

  4. youboettcha says: Feb 6, 2011 11:09 PM

    My favorite part of the Super Bowl was the cameras showing Kevin Greene telling Clay Matthews, “It’s time [to make a big play].” The following series, Clay forced that fumble.

  5. wydok says: Feb 6, 2011 11:12 PM

    This is another reason why the AP awards for NFL players should be given out after the Super Bowl.

  6. ydnubm says: Feb 6, 2011 11:42 PM

    It’s about the hair, right? Right, Troy? Right?

    Win the defensive MVP but give up two touchdowns in the Super Bowl and lose…

    The runner up for MVP makes the biggest play of the game and wins…

    But Troy has (marginally) better hair and that’s what counts. Right, Troy? Right?

  7. thehighhat says: Feb 6, 2011 11:51 PM

    I have a question… Did Troy Polomolu play in this game? I didn’t hear his name with “Clay Matthews” ringing in my ears all night!

  8. tatum064 says: Feb 7, 2011 12:00 AM

    thehighhat says: Feb 6, 2011 11:05 PM

    Desmond Bishop, Cal Bear, San Francisco nativeā€¦ You made us all proud as all of San Francisco was rooting for the Brett Favre-free Packers!!! You and Aaron made us proud!
    =======================
    And the 49ers passed on Rodgers…for Alex Smith.

    nuff said.

  9. natelifer says: Feb 7, 2011 12:04 AM

    I wonder where that coward Pervyharvin is??? Come out little boy.

  10. doe22us says: Feb 7, 2011 12:06 AM

    In other related news the commercials were terrible Thanks

  11. packattack75 says: Feb 7, 2011 12:06 AM

    PervyHarvin,
    I hope you were able to get reception of the game with your rabbit ears in your trailer. Just wanted to let you know that the Green Bay Packers are World Champions! How do you like them apples? Give me some feedback for some laughs girl.

  12. granadafan says: Feb 7, 2011 12:08 AM

    Desmond Bishop was a beast all over the field.

  13. wearesc says: Feb 7, 2011 12:10 AM

    Clay Matthews, USC Trojan. I am so proud of you, congratulations!

  14. gbfanforever says: Feb 7, 2011 12:18 AM

    I think Troy Palamalu is really good and all but he was 10-15 yards away from Greg Jennings when he caught the game winning ball.

  15. bigbaldpapahawk says: Feb 7, 2011 12:20 AM

    Clay is a great American. I’d like to believe that he thought he was about to hit Christina Aguilera for butchering the National Anthem.

  16. techvet says: Feb 7, 2011 12:36 AM

    Hey , Troy – nice coverage on Jennings’ two TDs tonight. You got taken to the cleaners. Your post-season hardware is the defensive player of the year award and Matthews says he isn’t interested in trading!

  17. lgwelsh1 says: Feb 7, 2011 12:39 AM

    You can see Kevin Green’s influence on these young linebackers in Green Bay. Clay and the rest of the boys are monsters in the backfield, great coaching
    Kevin!

  18. ushu0 says: Feb 7, 2011 12:55 AM

    It looked to me like Ryan Pickett caused the fumble. The ball was already coming out when Matthews hit Mendenhall.

  19. trickbunny says: Feb 7, 2011 12:55 AM

    Did Troy Polamalu even play in this game? :)

  20. packfaninny52 says: Feb 7, 2011 1:13 AM

    Clay Matthews is the real Defensive Player of the Year.

    Not Troy “I didn’t even notice he was playing in the Super Bowl” Polamalu

    It’s all good though. WE GOT THE TROPHY

  21. scytherius says: Feb 7, 2011 1:19 AM

    You’re awesome Clay!!! Congratulations!!!! And I bet he’d be the FIRST to tell us, give me the ring over that Def Player of the Year anytime.

  22. Robert says: Feb 7, 2011 3:19 AM

    Thank you Clay!!

    Packers World Champs 2011!!!

    Love,

    Southern—Minnesota

  23. sgteagles says: Feb 7, 2011 4:07 AM

    why would anyone bring up Percy Harvin’s name?

  24. 2loko says: Feb 7, 2011 5:29 AM

    I saw AJ Hawk on a plane a few years back. We exchanged bro nods

  25. mswravens says: Feb 7, 2011 7:26 AM

    Don’t forget the other side opf this story – Mendenhall is SOFT!!! He’s no Bettis & one of the reasons why the offense is all abotu Ben & the Steelers success is all about their D…and boy did that D show up last night…NOT!!!

    CONGRATS PACKERS!!!

  26. 706vet says: Feb 7, 2011 7:26 AM

    It looks like Pickett had as much to do if not more than Matthews with the fumble. At any rate it was the play of the game and Matthew was a beast all season, a dominant player. He had to make sure gentle Ben wasn’t running around in circles for 7 seconds, shedding blockers, completing balls with his left hand etc. The Packers contained the sandlot stuff and Matthews was a huge part of it.

  27. calloustongue says: Feb 7, 2011 8:22 AM

    Polamalwho? Didn’t see him making many plays, or any for that matter.

    Congrats to Clay for winning the trophy that matters and proving the idiots in the AP wrong once again.

    Clay is head and shoulders above the rest! ;)

  28. pervyharvin says: Feb 7, 2011 8:45 AM

    To anyone calling me out, you are pathetic. Really.

    I would like to offer my heart felt congratulations to the Black Eyed Peas for a wonderful performance.You guys really are the champs!

  29. gregjennings85 says: Feb 7, 2011 10:18 AM

    Keep that DPOY trophy, Troy.

    Clay will just have to settle for the Lombardi Trophy.

  30. youboettcha says: Feb 7, 2011 10:55 AM

    I agree that it’s kind of dumb for people being like, “where’s pervy at now?” Who cares? Enjoy the win and stop rubbing it in his face. Although it is kind of classless to call the Black Eyed Peas the champs. I guess I might see where people are coming from.

  31. newreality1 says: Feb 7, 2011 11:37 AM

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. When mathews made that hit and that ball pop’d out I think the entire neighborhood heard me YeLL YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. But I think I heard all the stealer fans yell ,Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo . Steeltown , I really feel bad for you, BUT WE REALLY FEEL GOOD ON THIS END. GREEN BAY PACKERS WORLD CHAMPS. You are ALL invited to the party in lambeau field at 5:00 pm central time. RSVP casual attire only

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