Clay Matthews

Fifth best defender in the NFL?

After last week’s edition of ESPN’s NFL power rankings, top helmets in the NFL, I half expected this week’s edition to focus on best colors. Of course, they went and pulled something somewhat relevant out — top 10 defensive players.

[intlink id="454" type="category"]Clay Matthews[/intlink] was the only member of the Green Bay Packers to make the top 10, finishing fifth. [intlink id="386" type="category"]Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] safety Troy Polamalu was the consensus No. 1.

Also ranking ahead of Matthews was [intlink id="140" type="category"]Dallas Cowboys[/intlink] outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, [intlink id="69" type="category"]New York Jets[/intlink] cornerback Darrelle Revis and [intlink id="89" type="category"]San Francisco 49ers[/intlink] inside linebacker Patrick Willis.

Matthews received three second-place votes, but finished no higher than fifth on the remaining five ballots. He finished two points behind Willis and four behind Revis.

Cornerback [intlink id="143" type="category"]Charles Woodson[/intlink] finished just out of the rankings at No. 12, finishing with five points. [intlink id="343" type="category"]Baltimore Ravens[/intlink] safety Ed Reed was 10th with 14.

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