Preps Talk

Peppers ranked as the 20th most productive pass rusher


Peppers ranked as the 20th most productive pass rusher

Seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro defensive lineman Julius Peppers has long been considered one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL. At 6-foot-7, 290 pounds, it's no surprise the 32-year-old Peppers has tallied 100 career sacks in his 11-year career.
But how productive of a pass rusher has Peppers been the last three years, two of which came with the Bears?
The raw numbers show 29.5 sacks in 48 games, and the experts at Pro Football Focus analyzed the top pass rushers in the game to see who had produced most efficiently.
The first number that jumps out is Peppers' ability to play on most down in almost every game. He has missed just six games in his career, and has not missed a game since 2007. According to PFF, Peppers has rushed the passer 1,480 times in the last three years, which ranks second in the NFL to only Minnesota's Jared Allen (1,638). The number is made even more impressive when considering how often Peppers drops into coverage for a 4-3 defensive lineman, although some of the names on the list are 3-4 outside linebackers.
In terms of total pressure, which PFF defines as "the total combined number of sacks, hits and hurries," Peppers comes in at No. 7 with 180 pressures of the quarterback. Leading the way was Dallas Cowboys' 3-4 OLB DeMarcus Ware with 227 pressures. Allen tied for fourth with 195 pressures, while Green Bay's Clay Matthews checked in at No. 9 with 172 pressures.
PFF's most revealing number, however, is its "Pass Rushing Productivity" ranking. The ranking takes into account quarterback sacks, quarterback hits and quarterback hurries, with hits and hurries being equivalent to 75 percent of a sack.
Here, Peppers' 9.63 mark ranks 20th in the NFL, with Allen slightly ahead at 9.68. Matthews' 11.4 rating is 11th of all pass rushers, while Miami's Cameron Wake had an NFL-best 13.32 rating.
It's worth noting these numbers are exactly that: just numbers. Peppers' impressive pass rush totals (where he ranks second) are invaluable, and his number of sacks, hits and hurries (ranked seventh) still can't take into account how teams may have game-planned around him, how double teams against him free up interior rushers or what he does against the run and in pass coverage.
Where would you rank Julius Peppers as a pass rusher in the NFL? Top-3? 5? 10?

High School Lites Football Roundup Week 9

High School Lites Football Roundup Week 9

High School Lites is back with an exciting Week 9 full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from Friday's games.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.

DRIVE: Batavia (episode 9)

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Oak Forest football

VIEWERS' CHOICE GAMES OF THE WEEK: Fremd runs past Schaumburg

WINTRUST ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame running back Ty Gavin


(1) Lincoln-Way East 31, (16) Bolingbrook 0

(2) Batavia 24, Wheaton North 13

(3) Brother Rice 31, (17) Montini 0

(4) Marist 24, Benet 7

(6) Homewood-Flossmoor 56, Sandburg 0

(7) Cary-Grove 55, (15) Naperville Central 41

(9) Nazareth Academy 42, Marian Catholic 6

(10) Maine South 48, Niles West 6

(11) Oswego 22, Plainfield South 15

(12) Richards 41, Eisenhower 6

(13) Phillips 41, Raby 0

(14) Willowbrook 42, Downers South 20

(18) Oak Park-River Forest 48, Lyons 0

(19) Warren 43, Mundelein 7

(20) Glenbard West 35, Proviso West 6

(21) Hillcrest 43, Bremen 6

Joliet Catholic 33, (22) Notre Dame 17

(23) Hinsdale Central 21, Hinsdale South 12

(24) Rolling Meadows 34, Buffalo Grove 7

Wheaton Warrenville South 13, (25) St. Charles North 11


Payton 43, Kenwood 42

Coal City 43, Lisle 14

Huntley 55, Dundee-Crown 12

Perspectives 32, Solorio 16


Fenwick vs. (5) Mount Carmel 

(8) Simeon vs. Curie

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

Chris Emma, Matt Zahn and Gabe Ramirez join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh joins the panel to discuss the Bulls’ terrible defensive performance as well as Zach LaVine’s impressive season debut.

11:35- Khalil Mack is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Can the Bears pull off the upset against Tom Brady?

23:50- NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Tom E. Curran joins Kap to talk about how New England views the Bears and discuss how Matt Nagy’s team can exploit the Patriots’ weaknesses.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below.