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Jets-Bears matchup of the day: Tuesday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Dec. 21, 2010 @ 7:48 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Week 16 battle between the Bears and Jets:

Jets OLT D'Brickashaw Ferguson and ORT Wayne Hunter vs. Bears DRE Julius Peppers and DLE Israel Idonije

The Jets' offensive line was challenged by head coach Rex Ryan heading into its Week 15 game against the Steelers, and it responded, holding up well against the Steelers' frenetic pass rush. Sanchez was only sacked once as Hunter, who is filling in for the injured Damien Woody, made his third career start.

Chicago will usually rush four out of their 4-3 base, which is a different challenge from protecting against Pittsburgh's blitzing 3-4 front, but the task won't be much less daunting. Peppers is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season and Idonije is tied with him for the team lead in sacks (eight).

Ferguson is considered one of the top left tackles in the game, and while Peppers is talented enough to get pressure even against the league's elite, it would be no surprise if the Bears line him up across from Hunter early in the game to see if they can exploit that matchup. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will likely be forced to consider sending a chipping back to help his tackles keep Peppers and Idonije away from QB Mark Sanchez.

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