GREEN BAY - The snaps were about the same. The percentages were about the same. When it came to how much time Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers spent on the field, there were hardly any differences.
As for production? Definitely not the same.
Peppers, adjusting to a part-time role, bounced back from a quiet opener with 1½ sacks Sunday night in a 17-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. A sign Peppers is starting to figure out how to be more productive with fewer snaps?
“I hope so,” he said inside the Packers’ somber locker room afterward.
Peppers moved into a tie for seventh on the league’s all-time career sacks list. His 137.5 joined former Chicago Bears defensive end Richard Dent and Vikings defensive end John Randle. Peppers is four sacks from tying former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan for fifth.
Peppers played 27 snaps against the Vikings, which was just fewer than half (47 percent) of the Packers’ defensive total. They were two fewer than he played in Jacksonville two weeks ago, but Peppers’ 29 snaps against the Jaguars were only 40 percent of the Packers’ defensive snaps.
The Packers want to keep Peppers fresh for the season’s stretch run. They can afford to limit his snaps because of how well edge linebackers Nick Perry and Datone Jones are defending the run. So long as that continues, Peppers figures to play almost exclusively in passing situations.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Sunday was a good example of how Peppers can continue making a difference for the Packers' defense.
“Julius, I thought, had a good night,” Capers said. “Julius was active in the pass rush, so that was good to see.”