There was not much to feel good about for Packer fans after Green Bay’s 19-7 loss at the hands of the Detroit Lions last Sunday. Yet, one thing Packer followers can take solace in was the performance of Julius Peppers.
Peppers, the Packers big free-agent acquisition this offseason, showed he can still be an elite pass rusher and had moments of domination against the Lions. In the third quarter, with the Lions ahead 12-7 and threatening with a goal-to-go situation, Peppers beat his opponent to the edge, sacked Lions’ quarterback Matt Stafford and forced a fumble, which he himself recovered.
It was a splash play, the kind Green Bay has lacked this season and even though the offense couldn’t capitalize, it showed that despite his age, Peppers can still be a playmaker for the Packers defense.
This week, Peppers will face his old team when Green Bay travels to Chicago on Sunday for a critical NFC North showdown. With the status of Clay Matthews in question, the Packers will be counting on Peppers to apply pressure on Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler and after his performance against Detroit, the Packers have to feel confident that Peppers can deliver.
Dom Capers, the Packers defensive coordinator has allowed Peppers to rush from a defensive end position and it’s clear that is what the former no.2 overall pick is comfortable doing. He dominated against Detroit in that role and will hopefully do the same this week against a questionable Bears’ offensive line. Yet, one thing is true, Peppers is proving to be worth every penny that Green Bay spent on him this summer.