Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

7 for Sunday - Seven Things to Watch; Rams vs. Packers; Noon Sunday; Ktvi (Ch. 2)

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

7 for Sunday - Seven Things to Watch; Rams vs. Packers; Noon Sunday; Ktvi (Ch. 2)

Article excerpt

MEET CLAY MATTHEWS

If Wayne Hunter's back ailment doesn't come around by noon Sunday, Joe Barksdale will make his first NFL start. Whether it's Barksdale or Hunter, best of luck, because Clay Matthews lines up over the left tackle about 80 percent of the time. Slowed by a quad injury much of last season, Matthews is back to his player-of-the- year ways and currently ranks second in the NFL in sacks (8). "He's easy to find on film," Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. "He's ruined a lot of games."

ALL ABOUT AARON

In this quarterback-driven league, no one drives an offense better than reigning league-MVP Aaron Rodgers, especially when it comes to accuracy, quick release, or extending plays with his legs. During the Packers' sluggish start this season, he took a lot of sacks and seemed to hold the ball longer. Then came that 6 TD performance against Houston. "It's evident just watching film - (No.) 12 makes it go," LB James Laurinaitis said. "You've got to try to make him hold it; try to take away his first read."

LIFE WITHOUT JENNINGS

For the past several seasons, Greg Jennings has been the Packers' go-to receiver and one of the league's top deep threats. He'll miss his fourth game of the season Sunday because of a groin injury, but Green Bay's receiving corps is so deep and talented that it remains a high-octane unit. At age 37, the great Donald Driver is a mere bit player these days. But Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and emerging Randall Cobb alone form perhaps the NFL's best WR trio, combining for 256 yards and 5 TDs against Houston.

GREEN DAY

Veteran Cedric Benson was placed on the injured reserve/ designated for return list after suffering a fractured left foot two weeks ago against Indianapolis. James Starks is still getting his legs under him after being sidelined more than two months with turf toe. …

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