Packers-Bears I: The pass-rushers
Sept 26, 2010 ~ by Kevin Seifert, ESPN
~The rule is simple and time-tested. In the NFL, it’s all about the quarterbacks. They generate most of the blame, attract the majority of the credit and get all of the girls. We paid our respects at the quarterback altar last week, noting the new relevance of the “JayRod” rivalry in anticipation of Monday night’s matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.
So enough already with the pleasantries. What if we suggested that the two best players at Soldier Field won’t be the Bears’ Jay Cutler or the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers? What if we cast our gaze to the other side of the ball and recognize the two men charged with stopping said quarterbacks?
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews leads the NFL with six sacks entering Week 3. Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has been among the league’s top pass-rushers since arriving in 2002, enough to have elicited a $91.5 million free-agent contract from the Bears in March.
Quarterback play might ultimately decide this showdown of 2-0 teams, but no players are in better position to impact their performances than Matthews and Peppers. With that dynamic in mind, I pulled together thoughts from a wide variety of sources on both players. Let’s break them down from every angle as the clock ticks toward Monday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Full breakdown here