Chicago Sun-Times

Peppers vs. Allen: Advantage Bears

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If you think the Bears are worried about keeping Vikings defensive end Jared Allen out of their backfield, imagine the trepidation Minnesota coach Brad Childress and tackle Bryant McKinnie must feel knowing that Julius Peppers will have quarterback Brett Favre in his crosshairs when Minnesota visits Soldier Field on Sunday.

The Bears struggles up front have been well documented this season. Given how Peppers has terrorized McKinnie through the years, this is shaping up to be an advantage for the Bears.

"I really don't want to get into talking about last year," Peppers said during a conference call with Minnesota media members. "That was last year. It's a whole new season against players that have improved. I've improved in different things. I'm playing on a different team, different scheme. So last year was last year. We're looking forward to playing the Minnesota Vikings of 2010."

McKinnie called his performance while trying to block Peppers last season one of the two worst games of his career. The Vikings Pro Bowl left tackle was benched last season after giving up a sack, several pressures and being called for a false start while trying to block Peppers, who was playing for the Panthers at the time.

Peppers dominated McKinnie while finishing with a one sack, a tackle for a loss and three quarterback hurries in a 26-7 Panthers win. He has five sacks against McKinnie since 2005, including three in a loss to the Vikings in 2006.

"One thing that obviously stands out [is Peppers]," Favre said while talking about the Bears' defense. "I'm sure that was the intention when they went after Julius. He is a dynamic player. He's a game changer. I don't know what else to tell you."

Peppers has only two sacks but leads the Bears with 12 quarterback pressures and leads defensive linemen with 28 tackles.

"We all know what I'm bringing to the team," Peppers said during the conference call, referring to players and coaches. "While the numbers aren't popping [off] the page, the things that I'm doing when you see the tape, it's good football out there. I'm pleased with it, I think everybody else is pleased with it, and hopefully by the end of the year the numbers will be matching up to what we're seeing on the field."

The Bears have been flip-flopping Peppers on both sides of the line in an attempt to increase his effectiveness. Peppers said the advantage to switching sides is that the tackle opposing him doesn't have time to learn all his moves. The downside, he said, is that it's hard for him to get into a rhythm with one blocker, although that hasn't proven to be a problem against McKinnie in the past.

"It's not about surprising anybody," Peppers said. "I don't think I could surprise anybody in this league right now. I've been playing well for a long time. I'm used to being game-planned for, and I'm used to having extra attention. It's just one of those things you have to deal with being one of the elite players in your division. You have to deal with that and find out ways to beat it. You just have to be patient and keep working. Sooner or later things will start going your way."

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5 Comments

Never fear.
Double teaming peppers will take him out of the game. There isn't anyone else to double team so task should be relatively easy for the vikes.
anybody in the league can stop a one-man defensive line and that is what the bears have.

I'm not sure about this one. I get the story line on Peppers, but where does Allen come in? Chris Williams handled him last year, but Omiyale is playing LT now. Before that Allen was man-vs-boys killing us! Big matchup this week.

Val,
True enough. The problem is when we try and double Allen, the Williams wall will destroy our interior guys and get pressure. My thinking is that Martz needs to roll the pocket out to the right side, away from Allen, and force Pat Williams to run on as many plays as possible. Wearing him down early in the game is the key to getting big gains in the run game late. Once you force ol' chunky to the sidelines, we have a chance to run at them.

I am actually really disappointed that Harris got credit for half a sack. he was getting stonewalled, and all he did was drop and touch Fitzpatrick. He was nowhere near him until Izzy forced him forward.

I actually think Izzy will have a good game on the other side this week. I would like to see more of Wootton in the rotation, and less of Turner, but that's just me. We are going to need something out of the rest of the line, but so far, Izzy is the only one who has showed up. If he doesn't have a big game, we are toast. We can't stay with receivers for more than 2-3 seconds, so Favre will pick us apart if we aren't all over him.

Tillman and Jennings are in trouble this week. If Harvin is healthy, he is a mismatch for them, and we would need to put Danieal Manning on him full time, as he is the fastest guy on the defense. Berrian is a 1 trick pony, and they can neutralize him by being physical at the line, but that means Marinelli will play off coverage all game on him. Shiancoe is always trouble, but hopefully Pisa will be better in coverage on him than Roach and Hillenmeyer were. But it all starts and ends with Peterson. Playing press coverage will also put the corners up at the line, so if it is a run, they can hopefully set the edge and force it back inside.

Is it just me or is Peppers starting to sound a little bit full of himself? I know he is elite but it seems a little arrogant to refer to yourself as an elite player. Was he like this in Carolina? How about stopping the self adulation and start getting some sacks?

Allen is off the booty juice and he looks mediocre. He is lighter and softer this year.

Shouldn't this article be Peppers vs. McKinnie, advantage Peppers. You know O-Line vs. D-Line.

I am not all that worried about the Vikings, next week thats different. Cause next week the article is going to read Peppers Vs. Long advantage Long. In fact Miami probably has the best pair of bookends in the nfl, and they are a massive really good line.

By the way Olin is hurt and may not play.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on November 10, 2010 5:29 PM.

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