There was a time not long ago, when the entire Green Bay Packers team looked done. Julius Peppers was right there with them.
In his third season with the Packers, the seemingly ageless wonder has finally started to show some, well, age.
Through six games this season, Peppers had just 2.5 sacks and six tackles. In some games, like the one against Jacksonville, he hardly played. At times, he seemed almost like an afterthought.
When Clay Matthews was injured, Peppers was forced to play more and even then, his game was underwhelming. He notched a sack against the Falcons, but time and again, his play left much to be desired.
However, in the past two weeks, something has changed in Peppers. Maybe it has to do with playing fewer snaps since Matthews return, but he’s started playing much better.
Last week against the Redskins, he got a sack and batted down a pass. This past Monday, against the Eagles, had not only had a sack, but also registered 3.5 pressures.
Truthfully, it could have easily been multi-sack game for Peppers. But the important thing for the Green Bay defense is that Peppers is starting to produce, just like the entire defensive line, which posted four sacks in the 14-point win over Philly.
Peppers, who is one of the NFL’s all-time leaders in sacks, still has some juice left in those legs. And as the Packers head down the stretch, his production and continued production from the entire pass rush will be critical.
At 5-6, Green Bay is still alive for a playoff berth, but it will only stay that way if Peppers and his teammates can keep harassing quarterbacks like they did Carson Wentz Monday night.