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Bears-Packers matchup of the day: Tuesday

About the Author

Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Dec. 28, 2010 @ 11:35 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Week 17 battle between the Bears and Packers.

Bears DEs Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije vs. Packers OTs Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga

The Bears' pass rush, which failed to register a sack against the Jets in Week 16, is coming off one of its worst outings of the season, and the defense could be in for another rough day if Peppers and Idonije aren't more disruptive against the Packers.

Aaron Rodgers is dangerous enough when he's on the run, trying to elude pass rushers after the pocket collapses. If he's not hurried and has plenty of time to look downfield and find holes when the Bears are playing cover-2, Green Bay could pile up yards through the air.

Bulaga, a rookie, starts at right tackle and he'll get a chance to line up across from Idonije and Peppers, as the Bears shift the defensive ends from side to side. Peppers' combination of size and strength makes him a difficult assignment for Clifton and Bulaga, and Idonije has shown the ability to take advantage of one-on-one matchups when teams send an extra blocker to chip on Peppers' side.

With a relatively nondescript group of running backs, Green Bay relies on Rodgers to keep the chains moving, and Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will call for stunts, games and perhaps the occassional blitz to try to confuse and frustrate the Packers' offensive line.

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