The Packers can get after the quarterback and that's always a scary thought for their opposition. Led by NFL sack leader Clay Matthew's 8.5 QB takedowns behind the line of scrimmage, the Pack have amassed 22 sacks on the season, fourth-best in the league. Jets RT Damien Woody will draw the Matthews blocking assignment for most of Sunday afternoon — until Packers defensive coordinator Dom Campers reaches into his Halloween bag for a special trick.
"They have this package called the 'Psycho Package' where they have one defensive linemen and a whole bunch of linebackers, and they just roam around and basically just try to confuse you," Woody said. "We've already started doing our work on that and it's a pretty complex package. They do a lot of things in their defensive scheme and we just have to be ready for it."
After racking up 10 sacks as a rookie, the 6'3", 250-pound Matthews is well on his way to double digits again and he's even missed a game. He had perhaps the best two-week start of any NFL player this season, getting three sacks apiece in the Packers' victories over the Eagles and Bills.
"He knows how to use his hands well and he just never stops. He doesn't quit on the play," said Woody of Matthews, who stands out with long blonde hair flowing down past his shoulders. "When you watch him, he's always hustling, he's always chasing down the quarterback and that's happened quite a few times on some of the sacks. He's just relentless chasing down the quarterback and has been able to get the sack. He's just one of those guys. You can't stop against him — you just have to keep playing until the whistle because he won't stop."
Capers, one of the most respected defensive minds in the game, wants to create pressure and turnovers. After leading the NFL with 40 takeaways last season, the Packers have created just 12 through seven games but an NFL-high eight of those takeaways have been converted into touchdowns.
"Not only do they do a good job of sacks and strip-sacks, but on the back end they do a good job of intercepting the ball," Woody said. "A lot of people know about Charles Woodson, a great player, but they have a lot of really good athletes across the board on defense. They're a little banged up on the defensive side of the ball, but we're kind of expecting some of their guys to come back, guys like Ryan Pickett and Jenks' brother, Cullen Jenkins."
The 6'2", 305-Jenkins has four sacks and could eclipse his career high of 6.5 back in 2006. But the Packers have a difficult challenge in front of them Sunday because the Jets' offensive line is widely considered one of the best units in football and they've yielded only nine sacks, third-best in the NFL. It's a matchup of strength vs. strength and the Jets will be ready for battle.
Both Jamaal Westerman and Vernon Gholston provided "Matthews looks" for Woody at Wednesday's practice. The veteran tackle praised both of the Jets' linebackers for their work in simulating the opponents' top pass rushers weekly and getting the linemen prepared for their assaults.
"I don't do anything special, just study a lot of tape," Woody said of preparing for Matthews. "Then from the tape, you just make sure the guys running the scout team are giving you a good look. If you do that, you should have a pretty good feel for when you go out there and play the game."
The Packers will bring Matthews and "Psycho" on Halloween, but Woody and the Jets' O-line plan on protecting Mark Sanchez and building escape routes for their talented running backs.
"The biggest thing we talked about coming out of the bye was starting a new streak of being turnover-free," he said. "We had a couple of slip-ups in the Denver game, so we want to start a new streak as far as eliminating turnovers. That's going to be key against this team."