Originally written on Midway Illustrated  |  Last updated 11/10/14
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cavs show requisite desperation to make this a series

WATCH: Gronk tells media you can deflate deez nuts

Clippers guard Chris Paul to miss Game 2 against Rockets

The Big 12 football’s new tiebreaker procedure

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ season should turn around soon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tristan Thompson to start Game 2 vs. Bulls

Sanchez absolutely believes he can win Eagles starting gig

49ers Ahmad Brooks accused of sexual assault

Report: Michael Bennett wants Seahawks to trade him

Report: Duke’s Jahlil Okafor looks 'as lean as ever'

Arum: Pacquiao would agree to rematch with Mayweather

Ronda Rousey named most dominant athlete alive

After five games, the playoffs finally start for the Warriors

Sportsbooks remove Patriots, NFL betting futures pending Deflategate punishment

McIlroy, Spieth both downplay notion of budding rivalry

The six best NBA playoff performances so far

Pierre Garcon says legalized pot could help his pizza business

Pedro Martinez: Manny spiked pregame shot with Viagra

Was keeping Andre Ethier L.A.'s best offseason move?

Nowitzki: Rondo lost to Charlie Villanueva in Connect Four

'The Mike Conley Broken Face Game' (and why he's the man)

Five NFL QBs facing make-it or break-it seasons in 2015

Jim Harbaugh: I'd love to see Judge Judy on Supreme Court

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jim Harbaugh: I'd love to see Judge Judy on Supreme Court

Chip Kelly: 'I won't be here' if Eagles have to draft top QB

Brewing dispute over A-Rod’s bonuses

Top eight NFL free agents on the market

Eagles' Chip Kelly & Sam Bradford: In like, but not love

Manziel moves from downtown Cleveland

Making sense of the AL East pile-up

Chris Bosh on blood clot diagnosis: ‘I’m lucky to be alive’

Projecting the All-Star Game rosters

Tiger hasn't slept in three days since Lindsey Vonn breakup

2015 NBA Draft big board, first edition

Eliminate Hack-A-Player: Don't reward violating sports rules

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.