Found October 31, 2012 on
Julius Peppers is one of the most athletically gifted and most dominating pass rushers in the NFL over the last decade. Peppers has tallied over 100 sacks and has been a gem to the Chicago Bears by bolstering what was once a stagnant pass rush. His production during his first two years in Chicago is among the best in the NFL and he deserves to be starting.
The 2012 season however shows that there has been a slip in production from Peppers to the point that he's no longer the most productive pass rusher on the team.
Third year defensive end Corey Wootton has become a more reliable all around defensive end than Peppers. According to the official NFL tally of QB hits and sacks; on a per pass rushing snap basis Wootton has more sacks, more pressures and more QB hits than Peppers. On 121 pass rushing snaps Wootton has three QB hits, three sacks; by coaches evaluation of QB pressure Wootton has seven pressures. Peppers on the other hand nearly doubles Wootton's pass rushing snaps at 233 and has 5.5 sacks 7 QB hits by NFL statistical count and 8 pressures by Bears coach evaluation.
I reached out to Nathan Jahnke for their analsys of Wootton's play versus Peppers and their metrics have Wootton at a higher level of both run stop production and pass rush production through the first seven games of the season. According to Jahnke "Wootton has 3 sacks, 2 hits and 10 hurries on 121 pass rushes gives him a Pass Rushing Productivity of 9.9 which is better than Peppers 8.8.
Also run defense, in terms of grades Wootton has been better. A stat to back that up is Run Stop Percentage(so run stops/run snaps). Wootton is at 7.8 while Peppers at 4.3."
Also of note in terms of overall pass rushing productivity (or PRP) Wootton's 9.9 puts him just below the 20th best pass rusher in the NFL according to PFF.
So while it is safe to assume that Peppers' season-long battle with plantar fasciitis is likely hampering his overall play, it stands to reason that the Bears may be better off resting Peppers for the month of December and the playoffs. Wootton's emergence as an all-around force at DE should provide him with a higher percentage of playing time over Peppers.
Wootton has not only stood out from a production standpoint, but he looks better on tape than Peppers. Wootton is showing a more consistent burst off the edge and he's starting to come into his own as he's matured and remained healthy. You can see the speed he has in the pass rush role. Athletically speaking Wootton is not as fast Peppers is over long distances of pursuit, but he has shown a better level of explosion off the edge and in short distances this season.
Peppers, historically may be the better player in the NFL and may turn out to be the better player overall in their careers. However through the first seven Bears games of the season, the Bears should go with the hot hand that is Wootton and give the more productive player more chances to succeed and show what the future may hold.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Bears are sitting at 6-1 and Jay Cutler is playing well. There are still questions about the Bears. Can they protect Cutler? Can Cutler keep his head and play consistent all season? Can the defense continue to get turnovers and score?
If the Bears keep things going in this direction, they may play for the NFC Championship.
Here's a look at Week 9.
The Chicago Bears are expected to be without wide receiver
Alshon Jeffery for this weekend’s matchup against the Tennessee Titans, but the
rookie could rejoin the team in the next week or two, reports Brad Biggs of the
Wide receiver Alshon
Jeffery is expected to miss Sunday's game against the Titans in Tennessee but
the rookie playmaker could be available...
Last week: 1 (-2)
I’m moving the Bears out of the #1 spot barely this week because I wasn’t impressed with their near home loss to the Panthers and because the Falcons looked good against the Eagles. However, the Falcons still haven’t really played anyone that’s any good and they almost lost at home to the Raiders. The Bears’ one loss was on Thursday Night and...
Jay Cutler, Chicago BearsJay Cutler came into this season as a lukewarm idea of a stud quarterback.Based on the fact the Bears' season went down the toilet last year following Cutler’s season-ending thumb injury and the addition of Brandon Marshall to the Bears' wide receiver tandem, many felt that Cutler could be a solid top 5 fantasy quarterback this year.Then there were...
Not so long ago Chicago Bears fans wanted to upgrade the secondary by either trading for Asante Samuel or Nnamdi Asomugha given they were Pro Bowl CBs who were on the move. Both players wound up with the Eagles, Samuel via trade and Asomugha signed with the Eagles as a part of the Dream Team. The guarantees of a Super Bowl titles began to roll in for the Eagles and Bears fans...
Who are the top fantasy football sleepers for NFL Week 9? GridironGrit.com’s Ryan Lester has the answers.
Photo Credit: ChicagoBears.com
QB Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears): An uneasy feeling is often accompanied whenever you’re trotting out quarterback Jay Cutler. He is more than capable of crushing your week with a bevy of interceptions. However, it’s easy to like his chances...
For more than three quarters Sunday afternoon, the NFC North leading Chicago Bears looked as though they were in big trouble against the visiting Carolina Panthers. Trailing Cam Newton’s one-win crew 13-7 at half time the Bears were even loudly booed by the Soldier Field faithful heading into the locker room."I'd boo us too," Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said. "...
National Football League Hall of Fame coach John Madden once said, “You are what your record says you are.” In a day and age where critics want to scrutinize a team for their strength of schedule rather than praise them for a sparkling record, the Chicago Bears are receiving their fair share of criticism.The Bears (6-1) narrowly escaped an embarrassing loss to a one-win Carolina...
The battle between J'Marcus Webb and Kamerion Wimbley likely isn't a make or break match up that will make or break this game for either team. To be honest if I were to sit down and write out keys to the game, this may or may not make the list and I may lean heavily to it not making the list. That being said this may be one of the most important match ups of the season...
In this week's Chicago Bears podcast we talked more about the Bears offense, should Mike Tice go more no-huddle with Jay Cutler? How excited was Nate Collins to get off the bench and get some quality playing time? What about Julius Peppers? We talked about this and got much more including a full preview of the Tennessee Titans from Tom Gower of TotalTitans.com.