Meanwhile, Julius Peppers is Tearing It Up
Much has been made of the Green Bay Packers’ lack of a pass rush this season. The Packers’ big two pass rushers — Clay Matthews and Nick Perry — have combined for six sacks.
Matthews has 2.5 on the season and Perry has 3.5.
Maybe the Packers should have kept Julius Peppers around a little longer? Peppers returned to the team that drafted him, the Carolina Panthers, as a free agent this past offseason.
After Sunday’s contest, Peppers has bested Perry and Matthews’ sack total by himself. In a non-starting role — similar to the one he played last year with the Packers — Peppers has 7.5 sacks. He’s also forced two fumbles.
Certainly at 37-years-old, the Packers weren’t going to invest heavily or long-term in Peppers. However, he clearly still has something to offer. And that something is probably more than a Kyler Fackrell currently, or perhaps ever, has to offer.
Of course, you could look at it from another perspective. That perspective would be that they actually know how to build a defense in Carolina. That Peppers’ performance is partially because he can still play, but also partially because he’s surrounded by other guys who can actually play.
Ted Thompson and his minions have proven time and again they don’t know how to build a consistently-good defense.
The other thing that Peppers provides is leadership. After Carolina’s 17-3 win over Tampa on Sunday, it wasn’t Cam Newton who addressed the team. It was Julius Peppers.
But Thompson and the Packers don’t value that either. We knew that the second they axed Charles Woodson, who went on to have two solid (and one Pro Bowl) seasons with the Raiders to end his career.
Hey, coulda, shoulda, woulda.