The recent acquisition of Jared Allen has Chicago Bears fans excited for 2014, even though Julius Peppers landed in Green Bay. Most people see Allen as an upgrade over Peppers, but very few are talking about why. Why is Jared Allen a better 4-3 defensive end than Julius Peppers?
Here are two huge differences between the star athletes.
1. Snap Count
Jared Allen doesn’t come off the field like Julius Peppers does. Think of how horrible the Chicago Bears’ defensive line was in 2013, why would Peppers ever come off the field? Mainly because he isn’t an every down player like Allen is.
Each athlete played in all 16 games.
2013 Snap Counts:
Jared Allen: 1,083
Julius Peppers: 865
Jared Allen played 218 more snaps than Julius Peppers in 2013.
Allen played in 90% of the Vikings defensive snaps, Peppers played in only 81% for the Bears.
Considering there are between 60-80 defensive plays per game, Allen played a considerable amount more than Peppers last season.
Why did Allen play so much more than Peppers? Some would argue the Vikings over used him, but Allen has played over 1,000 snaps every season but two since 2007. Peppers only has two seasons in which he played 1,000+ snaps (2010 & 2008).
The Chicago Bears finished with the worst run defense in the NFL last season, only team to give up more than five yards a carry (5.3). They also finished tied for last in sacks, a huge upgrade was needed.
Enter Jared Allen.
Allen has recorded double digit sacks each of the last seven seasons, Peppers had seven total last season. Allen has failed to get double digit sacks only twice in his 11 year career, Peppers has four years he didn’t get to double digits in 13 attempts.
The longest streak for Peppers reaching 10+ sacks is three years, Allen did it for the last seven.
2013 Pass Defense Score (Pro Football Focus)
Jared Allen: 0.8
Julius Peppers: -0.7
Jared Allen (11th Season): 128.5
Julius Peppers (13th Season): 118.5
Highest Single Season Sack Total
Jared Allen: 22.0
Julius Peppers: 14.5*
*(Allen has gotten 14.5 or more four separate seasons)
As you can see, when you take into consideration the snap count and sack totals – Jared Allen blows Julius Peppers out of the water. Expect 2014 to be the same as every other year.