The Five: Julius Peppers, Week 1 At Jacksonville
Julius Peppers was little more than a very large warm body on Sunday. He only participated in 29 defensive snaps and did very little in that playing time. This isn't the sort of performance we've come to expect from Peppers, who contributed in a big way last year even in limited snaps.
We breakdown The Five's scoring system here.
What Went Right
It was interesting to see Peppers frequently line up as an interior rusher on passing downs, one of the few times he did see the field. Putting Peppers inside with Datone Jones and leaving Clay Matthews and Nick Perry outside is an interesting look, at the very least. Each of those four rushers brings a very unique style to the table, and using Peppers inside helps maximize those styles.
What Went Wrong
When Peppers did line up outside, his pass rushes weren't effective at all. Typically, Peppers uses his athleticism to simply overwhelm blockers, and he seemed slow to implement any sort of pass rushing moves against the Jaguars. If the Packers are resting Peppers to allow him to be his very best on pass rushing downs, he needs to be better in those opportunities.
Look, Peppers is 36. He's going to decline some time. I don't think one game signals a precipitous decline. However, this wasn't close to a productive outing for Peppers, and he didn't look to be up to last year's standards. He wasn't great, but he can be better.