About the Author
Recent posts by Dan Parr
Here's a look at another key matchup heading into Sunday's Week 13 battle between the Bears and the Lions.
Bears DE Julius Peppers vs. Lions OLT Jeff Backus
These two squared off in Week One and aside from the play where Peppers beat Backus and sacked QB Matthew Stafford, separating his right shoulder, Backus, who has only allowed 2½ sacks in the last 10 games according to STATS LLC, did a pretty good job in pass protection.
A lot of time has gone by since then. Detroit is running out of healthy quarterbacks and Peppers has established himself as a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Third-string QB Drew Stanton is expected to start on Sunday with Stafford and Shaun Hill (finger) nursing injuries. Rookie Zac Robinson will be his backup.
The Lions let Backus block Peppers one-on-one in passing situations for the vast majority of the time in Week One, but they sent a chipping back to his side at times and likely will take the same approach against Peppers on Sunday. If Stanton, who has played in only nine games in his three-year NFL career, doesn't help his O-line by getting rid of the ball quickly, Peppers should add to his sack total.
The Bears' defensive line is coming off one of its best performances of the season and coordinator Rod Marinelli will likely have some stunts ready to throw off Detroit's front five.