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Raiders Vs. Bears Week 12 Key Matchup: Jared Veldheer vs. Julius Peppers

In Week 11, the battle up front between Oakland LT Jared Veldheer and Minnesota DE Jared Allen was supposed to be a heated battle, one worthy of attention and scrutiny. It turned out to be an utterly one-sided affair, with Veldheer dominating Allen all day long by himself without receiving any double-team help or extra blockers from the backfield to aid him. Allen only recorded two tackles, no sacks, and never really made an impact on the game. It was the only contest this year for Allen in which he had not recorded a sack. Allen did get close to Carson Palmer once, but Veldheer wisely tackled him and was called for holding. Normally penalties hurt Oakland, but this one probably did more good than harm. Overall, Jared Allen was no match for Veldheer on Sunday.

This week, Veldheer has a similar challenge in Chicago's high-profile defensive end Julius Peppers. Peppers has six sacks on the year, and is extremely quick and athletic, not to mention that he stands 6'7" tall and weighs 287 pounds. Peppers has been terrorizing the NFC since he was drafted #2 overall by the Panthers in 2002, and he signed a huge free agent contract with Chicago before the 2010 season. He is widely regarded as one of the best defensive ends in football. If Jared Veldheer can shut down Peppers as he shut down Jared Allen, there is no question that he should be considered one of the premier offensive linemen in the game and worthy of a Pro Bowl spot.