It was no surprise that defensive end Julius Peppers dominated the Arizona Cardinals' porous offensive line last week in a crucial win for the Bears. But it turned out to be the most dominant defensive performance in the NFC.
A day after being named to his eighth Pro Bowl, Peppers was named the NFC defensive player of the week on Thursday. He had three sacks, a forced fumbled, five tackles and pass breakup against the Cardinals. All five of his tackles were behind the line of scrimmage.
Can he explain his big day?
"No. Just sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't," Peppers said after the Bears' 28-13 victory. "I don't have an explanation for it. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't."
It was Peppers' ninth career game with at least three sacks. Since entering the NFL in 2002, Peppers has 111.5 sacks, the second-most during that span.
"I can't explain why were able to get sack [against the Cardinals]," Peppers said. "We executed the game plan, we had good rushes, we had good pressure inside and we just rushed the edge."
It was the fifth time Peppers was named a Player of a Week -- only his second with the Bears.
Peppers, defensive tackle Henry Melton and cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings were all voted starters for the Pro Bowl. Peppers has made the Pro Bowl all three of his seasons with the Bears.
"He's probably the most dominant defensive lineman in the game," linebacker Lance Briggs said.