No Matthews Could Sack Brett Favre

Every week on Blue 58, we try to leave you with a little nugget for the road, something that may not necessarily line up with our main topic but we find interesting nonetheless. 

This week, I mentioned that Clay Matthews III, the Clay Matthews currently on the roster, is not actually the first version of Clay Matthews to play against Brett Favre.

That honor belongs to Clay Matthews II, the current Clay’s father. 

What’s most interesting to me, though, is that despite a combined seven games against Favre, two prolific pass rusher never managed to take Favre down for a sack. 

Matthews II played three games against Brett Favre in his career, the first as a member of the Cleveland Browns in 1992. In that first meeting, Cleveland came away with a 17-6 thanks in part ot a nondescript performance from Favre.

The second Matthews II/Favre meeting came two years later with Matthews now a member of the Atlanta Falcons. This game is especially notable for several reasons: it was the last game ever at Milwaukee County Stadium and the Packers were battling for just their second playoff berth in the Favre era. 

Matthews played well that day. The Pro Football Reference play-by-play credits him with being a part of eight tackles (though no sacks), but the game footage reveals something interesting about the famous ending.

According to video of the last couple plays, Matthews was in on the tackle that set up Favre’s legendary dive into the end zone. One play later, Matthews drops into coverage towards the opposite side of the field, watching as Favre sprints for the right corner of the end zone and dives in. 

The elder Matthews got one more shot at Favre, this time in the 1995 playoffs. Jeff George started for the Falcons that day and threw 54 passes, both sides scored a touchdown on a punt return, and even a rookie William Henderson got in on the action with a catch. But even despite all those unusual happenings, Matthews didn’t find a way to sack Favre.

More than a decade later, Clay Matthews III would face off with Favre four times over two seasons with Favre now a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Even with ample opportunity, though, Matthews couldn’t finish what his father started and never managed to sack Favre.