Packers Need Help Getting To Brady

The way to beat the Patriots is to find ways to get to Tom Brady. With injuries to their top defensive pass rushers, the Packers are going to need a supernatural effort by Clay Matthews on Sunday. Either that, or a boatload of good fortune... or both.

As infallible as Tom Brady has been in not having a pass intercepted the last eight games, the league's best quarterback this season isn't sack-proof.

Brady has been sacked 13 times since his incredible run of pick-less games started Oct. 24, and six of those have come in the last two outings for the New England Patriots.

Yet, the Packers could be hard-pressed to get Brady on the ground, let alone end his staggering streak of 268 passes without an interception, when the teams meet Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

Green Bay is expected to be without two of its top three sacks producers this season.

Defensive end Cullen Jenkins, who ranks second on the team with a career-high seven sacks, will miss a second straight game because of a calf strain.

Rookie outside linebacker Frank Zombo, who is third on the club with four sacks, has been all but ruled out after he suffered a knee sprain in the stunning 7-3 loss at the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Jenkins and Zombo have combined for nearly a third of the Packers' season total of 37 sacks. A good number of those have come from outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who has 12.5, but the would-be front-runner for NFL Defensive Player of the Year has slowed of late.

Matthews has been hampered by a shin injury since late October. That has kept Matthews out of most practice drills every week, and his production has slipped with only four sacks in the last seven games.

Without Jenkins and Zombo to draw attention on the opposite side, the Patriots will be able to focus exclusively on Matthews and could render Green Bay's pass rush null and void Sunday.

Jenkins said after Sunday's game that his injured left calf is "not feeling very good at all." That doesn't bode well for getting the seventh-year veteran back by the end of the season, though head coach Mike McCarthy said putting Jenkins on injured reserve isn't imminent.

"I am week to week," McCarthy said Monday. "That is more for (general manager) Ted (Thompson) and the medical staff. Obviously, if we felt that way already, we would have made that move.

"You are dealing with strains and calf muscles, no different than knee sprains. There is some projection, and it is usually never the same for any two people."

This report courtesy of The Sports Xchange.

For more Patriots news follow us via Twitter: @PatriotsInsider

Patriots Insider Top Stories