If the Chicago Bears have one thing going for them on Sunday when they host the Indianapolis Colts for their opener, it's that they've got some dependable veterans on defense to make life in the NFL tough for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Julius Peppers is one such veteran, and his primary objective will be just that: disrupt Luck in his NFL debut.
Pro Football Weekly's Dan Parr took particular note of Peppers and his likely matchup for the game: second-year left tackle Anthony Castonzo.
Speed rushers gave him problems last season, and if Peppers is firing off the ball and having success getting into the backfield, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is going to have to think about sending a tight end or a chipping back to Castonzo's side to help seal off the edge.
Peppers is a tall task for any left tackle, let alone someone like Castonzo who doesn't have a full season under his belt as a starter. He also was considered somewhat raw coming out of the 2011 NFL Draft, and that's never a good thing when you're about to send out a rookie quarterback.
That being said, Peppers has been playing through plantar fasciitis, as Parr notes. That kind of injury is one that can have an effect on his burst, giving the very athletic Castonzo the edge in the matchup. Whoever wins, it will definitely be one of the big matchups to watch come Sunday, as it's likely these things will be the catalyst for a strong or poor performance from Luck, the player that everybody will be watching.