Offensive line lets Chicago Bears down

Packers defense proves more than match with Matthews leading way for 7 sacks

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GREEN BAY — It's one thing to block the Colts, without Dwight Freeney and with the comforts of playing at home.

It's quite another to block the Packers, with Clay Matthews and the thunder that some 70,000 lathered-up Cheesies can create.

The offensive line of the Bears might be good enough for some assignments, but not for others.

The assignments like the one the line had Thursday night are the ones that matter, however. And the Bears offensive line was not up to the challenge in the 23-10 loss at Lambeau Field.

The unit allowed seven sacks and committed three penalties.

"We know those guys pretty well," Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji said. "It's a familiar opponent, so in that aspect, we like our chances."

Matthews really enhances those chances.

He already has a league-leading six sacks, and no one rushes the passer better.

He explodes into his pass rush like he's from another planet.

He plays with a controlled frenzy that is unmistakable.

Plus, he has great hair.

"I'm just glad he's on my side," Packers linebacker Erik Walden said.

One man isn't going to block Matthews consistently. Both left tackle J'Marcus Webb and left guard Chris Spencer gave up sacks to Matthews, renewing questions about the left side of the line. Webb also had a false start and got away with a couple of holds that were not called.

"He used his hands pretty well and I got myself into trouble a lot tonight," Webb said. "I have to use this film to focus this week and get better."

If this were baseball, Chris Williams and Chilo Rachal might be warming up in the bullpen. And Jonathan Scott might be loosening up his shoulder on the side.

What's disappointing is Webb played so well four days earlier against the Colts. But that has been his history. The good ones do it every week. They shut down inferior opponents and hold their own against Pro Bowlers.

Some people thought the line problems would go away because new offensive coordinator Mike Tice promised his linemen more help.

Raji was asked if he was surprised the Bears didn't pay more attention to Matthews in their schemes.

"I just know any time they play him one-on-one, they're asking for trouble," he said.

Tice didn't leave Webb alone with Matthews too frequently after Matthews beat him one-on-one early. But help only goes so far. At some point, the linemen have to step up and make blocks on their own.

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