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Did Julius Peppers earn his paycheck in Week Six?

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Dan Parr
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Posted Oct. 18, 2010 @ 12:10 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Even the elite players are going to have a bad day once in a while. Peppers had his on Sunday, which was surprising.

Heading into the game, it looked like the Bears' defensive end would continue his disruptive ways. He would be matched up against rookie OLT Russell Okung. Don't get me wrong — Okung is talented. There is a reason he was drafted sixth overall, but he had yet to play a full NFL game yet, and having to go against Peppers in his second NFL game?

I'd say the advantage goes to Peppers in that one.

Yet, Peppers didn't have a sack or even so much as a quarterback hit. He was held to just two tackles in the game. He was double-teamed at times, but faced plenty of one-on-one matchups.

After the game, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll called Peppers one of the most dominant athletes he has ever seen in the NFL.

"I can't say that Russell Okung shut (Peppers) down — that didn't happen," Carroll said. "It was a scheme and a changing system that he couldn't get comfortable with rushes. But if you can keep him quiet, you have a chance.

"He gets paid the big money because he is the big dog and he can do it. Today we were fortunate that we kept him quiet."

Perhaps it wasn't Okung alone that did it, but Peppers was shut down, and that hasn't happened much this season.

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