Julius still has some 'Pep' in his step

Mike Woods and Robert Zizzo
Gannett Wisconsin Media
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Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers intercepts a pass against Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and runs it back for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Julius Peppers promised he had plenty of gas left in his tank.

On Thursday, he proved not only that, but he still has plenty of wheels as well.

The 6-foot-7, 287-pound linebacker looked like a man in his third year – not his 13th -- when he returned a Christian Ponder interception 49 yards for a touchdown during the Packers' 42-10 victory over Minnesota at Lambeau Field.

"It was just one of those plays," Peppers said. "I was just fortunate to be in the right spot to get the interception. I barely had enough gas to get it in the end zone, but I got in there."

And once there, safety Morgan Burnett had to remind him of that whole Lambeau Leap thing, pointing Peppers to the stands.

"It was my first time," Peppers said. "Next time, I'll be sure to get up there ASAP."

Not only did Peppers go 49 yards essentially untouched because nobody could match his speed, but his route also took him from the right side of the field to the left corner of the end zone. Total yards run: approximately 100.

"Highly impressed," defensive lineman Mike Daniels said. "But I wasn't surprised at all because he's been running around like that all offseason, all camp, all practice. He's just one of the great ones."

It was Peppers' 10th career interception and his first interception return for a touchdown since 2009. He also made history by becoming the first NFL player to record 100 sacks and 10 interceptions.

"It's a neat stat, that's pretty much it," Peppers said.

The interception was set up by rookie undrafted defensive lineman Luther Robinson, who tipped Ponder's pass. The ball floated into Peppers' hands and his touchdown gave the Packers a 21-0 lead.

"Pepps, he's just a sensational athlete," linebacker Clay Matthews said. "He continues to surprise us each and every day he's out here, every facet of his game. I'm glad it's showing. I'm glad the media can see what he's able to do week-in-and-week-out."

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