About the Author
Recent posts by Dan Parr
Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Week 10 battle between the Vikings and Bears.
Bears DE Israel Idonije vs. Vikings ORT Phil Loadholt
It's Israel Idonije, not Julius Peppers, who is leading the Bears in sacks with five, and he should face the banged-up Phil Loadholt one-on-one in pass-rush situations consistently on Sunday.
Idonije seems to be improving each week and he has to keep taking advantage of the opportunities that playing down the line from Peppers provides. Brett Favre has already lost four fumbles this season — as many as he did in the last two seasons combined — and he's prone to mistakes when defenders get into the backfield and pressure him. Peppers and Idonije will both be looking to knock the ball loose if they get within striking distance of him.
Loadholt is dealing with an apparent leg injury, which briefly sidelined him against the Cardinals in Week Nine, but there's no indication that he won't play. Speedy edge rushers have given him problems in the past, and he'll probably need help from a chipping back or a tight end if the Bears shift Peppers to his side. He has the size and rare strength to keep Idonije from winning this battle, but Loadholt doesn't always do a good job of harnessing his athletic gifts.