Julius Peppers was brought to Green Bay this offseason to be a difference-maker on the Packers defense. Through five games, the free agent linebacker has already done that.
Peppers was named the NFC defensive player of the week this week. He's one of only two players to earn that honor with three different teams, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman.
It's the sixth time Peppers has received the NFC defensive player of the week honor. He received the distinction three times with the Carolina Panthers and twice with the Chicago Bears.
Peppers had a 49-yard interception returned for touchdown in the second quarter of the Packers win against the Minnesota Vikings last Thursday. The score gave Green Bay a 21-0 lead, effectively ending the game en route to a 42-10 blowout.
"Yeah, he might be working with the offense this week," Packers coach Mike McCarthy joked Friday. "What a great play. Just a unique, special athlete – particularly to do it at his age. It's just great having him here."
Peppers also had a half-sack and three tackles.
It was the third time in his career Peppers has record at least a half-sack and an interception in the same game, the most since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. Peppers is the only player in NFL history to have 100 sacks (120) and 10 interceptions in his career.
It's only been five games, but Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said he's impressed with the game-changing plays Peppers seems to make each week.
"I think what you've seen out of Julius in almost every game, and certainly these last three games, you've seen him make an impact play that you can say would influence the game," Capers said. "You just go in every game (knowing) that he's made impact plays, which is what you expect out of a guy like Julius. He's been an impact player, and I think as he gets more comfortable, he's obviously doing some things that he hasn't had to do a whole lot of. You saw him drop and make the interception and return it for a touchdown. I think we know he can rush the passer.
"He's a good matchup, he's a good guy to have on the other side of Clay (Matthews) to complement him, and I like the rotation with Mike Neal and Nick Perry."
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