CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears talks with a teammate on the bench during a game against the New York Jets at Soldier Field on December 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Julius Peppers
In the Bears' October loss to the Seahawks, Julius Peppers was nearly non-existent. Coming off his breakout game against Carolina, Peppers had one tackle, zero sacks, zero pass deflections, zero impact against Seattle. For the Bears to win this weekend, Peppers cannot go M.I.A. again.
With Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck on a hot streak, the Bears need Peppers at his sacking, pass-deflecting best. That Peppers was around for the game against the Vikings, breaking up two passes, pulling down an interception and breaking up two passes. He also did what has elevated the Bears defense -- made those around him better. Israel Idonije had a sack, as did Corey Wootton, who knocked Brett Favre out of football. But that Peppers didn't show up against Green Bay.
Unfortunately, Peppers' playoff record is not stellar. In eight post-season games with the Panthers, Peppers had two sacks. He most recently played in the playoffs in the 2008 postseason against Arizona. His Panthers were embarrassed, losing 33-13, and Pep only contributed two tackles.
One thing is clear -- the Bears cannot get to the Super Bowl without big games from their stars. If Peppers doesn't show up, cancel those plane tickets for Dallas.