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Chiefs-Bears matchup of the day: Thursday

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted Dec. 01, 2011 @ 4:25 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

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

Chiefs OTs Branden Albert and Barry Richardson vs. Bears DEs Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije.

A lot of attention this week has been paid to the Chiefs' quarterback situation and whether it will be Tyler Palko or Kyle Orton under center when Kansas City takes the field Sunday at Soldier Field.

It might not matter much, though. The player taking the snaps will not have a lot of time to make plays if the Chiefs' offensive line doesn't do a better job in pass protection than it has of late against a Bears pass rush that recorded four sacks last week.

The Chiefs have allowed 16 sacks in their past five games — that's more sacks than the Bills have allowed all season. Palko is more mobile than Orton, but neither is particularly elusive in the pocket and Peppers and Idonije have the potential to keep the Chiefs' passing game from establishing the rhythm it has lacked.

Peppers is coming off a two-sack performance against the Raiders and will frequently be matched up against a very athletic left tackle in Albert. Peppers has the strength and agility to gain leverage over Albert, and Peppers could use his speed to get past the slow-footed Richardson when he moves to the other side of the line. The Chiefs likely will send help to Peppers' side and Idonije will need to take advantage of one-on-one matchups.

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