Bears DE Julius Peppers became one of the league's highest-paid players in the offseason when he reportedly signed a six-year deal worth up to $91.5 million with $42 million guaranteed. Each week we will take a close look at his performance to see if he played up to the high standard that comes with such a lucrative deal.
Peppers showcased his versatile skills against the Eagles and kept himself in the running for Defensive Player of the Year honors.
He rushed the passer, held his ground vs. the run, dropped back into coverage several times and showed he still has the speed to chase down the elusive Michael Vick.
Peppers was credited with one sack, but a film review showed that he pressured Michael Vick on seven different occasions, including a few times in key third-down situations. Peppers' sack came on a third down from the Bears' three-yard line and it forced the Eagles to settle for a field goal. On 3rd-and-19 from Chicago's 19 with a little more than five minutes left in the game, Peppers got ahold of Vick and tripped him up after he gained a yard.
"Anytime you play against a player like (Vick), it makes you raise your level," Peppers said. "It was a challenge for the defense, and overall we responded well."
The thing is, Peppers didn't need to raise his level much at all. He and the Bears' defense have been playing this well for a while now.