Worth every penny. When the normally stingy Chicago Bears made a move on the free agent of the NFL off-season—a six-year, $91.5 million move, $42 million of which is guaranteed—to boost the team’s lackluster defensive line, some said the brass overspent on a player who, at 30 years old, could be past his prime. Peppers’ play over the last thirteen weeks has certainly quieted the doubters, with six sacks, thirty-four tackles and more pressure on the quarterback than we’ve gotten from our entire line since the Super Bowl year. (Hell, even Israel Idonije is having a good year. Those double-teams on Peppers have opened things up.) Peppers’ tipped-pass-and-interception against the Carolina Panthers in week five might be the best defensive play of the year—we haven’t seen pure athleticism like that from a Bears player in quite a while.
Best of Chicago 2010