Julius Peppers came to Green Bay for one reason; to win a Super Bowl championship.
If that’s going to happen, the Packers first need to knock off the Seahawks in Sunday’s NFC championship game and for that to occur, Green Bay is going to need a special performance from Peppers, one of the greatest athletes in NFL history.
This off season, when Peppers signed with Green Bay he did so to play in games like the showdown in Seattle. He did so to play with an elite quarterback like Aaron Rodgers and because he desperately wants a Super Bowl ring.
Peppers needed the Packers but they needed him just as much. Green Bay had been without a dominant pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews and that is exactly what Peppers has provided.
The former No. 2 pick in the draft has been a beast in Green Bay. In the regular season he had seven sacks, two interceptions, a slew of forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns.
Last week in the divisional playoff against the Cowboys, the North Carolina product was even better. He had a sack and two forced fumbles, the second of which saved the day. DeMarco Murray had a clear path to the end zone when Peppers made the jaw dropping play to knock the ball out.
Green Bay recovered the fumble and ended up kicking a field goal, making the score 14-13 in favor of Dallas instead of 21-10.
Plays like that are the reason Green Bay gave the 6’7, 280-pound freak a fat contract and it’s why he should definitely return to the team next season. He is an impact player and will need to put his stamp on the game Sunday at the C-Link to have a chance at shocking the Seahawks.
The Packers have always had a championship caliber offense, but the defense has not reached that same level. Peppers has done his part to change that and when he’s playing at an elite level, the defense is no longer a weakness, it’s a strength.
And if Peppers can put out another dominating performance where he makes one or two impact plays, then the Packers have a legitimate shot at dethroning Seattle.
The only way I see Peppers not back in Green Bay is if he’s wearing a Super Bowl ring at the end of the season. And that will only happen if he puts together two of the best games in his career. But if he does and decides to hang it up, I’d be more than happy to watch him walk off into the sunset because he would have achieved all he set out too when he made the career altering decision to sign with Green Bay.