[to top of second column]
Still, defensive ends do get measured by sacks. At least coach Lovie Smith said the media and fans judge them this way.
"So it is good to validate it a little bit," Smith said. "But we didn't really need that. Again, his play has been outstanding, every snap he has been on the field."
Peppers had gone five games without a sack. His last had come against Carolina.
"Overall, like I've said, I've been pleased with how I've been playing," he said. "If people haven't been seeing me play, they might look at the number (of sacks) and feel like I'm playing well now, or better than I was before. But that's not the story.
"The story is I just happened to get a couple sacks (Thursday). I feel like I played (Thursday) like I've been playing all year."
The team's resurgence has come about largely due to the return of Urlacher from injury, defensive line coach Rod Marinelli taking over defensive coordinator duties and Peppers.
As a team, however, the one thing they hadn't done was accumulate sacks. They had only 13 before Thursday, tied for next-to-last in the league.
"They're overrated," Peppers maintained.
Defensive end Israel Idonije, who leads the team with six sacks, agreed.
"I know as rush men, you've got to get sacks, you've got to get sacks," he said. "We've been getting a lot of pressures and pressures turn into interceptions and different things."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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