Bears hope to control clock, stay fresh

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Time of possession is a key number for the Chicago Bears on both sides of the football.

Since the Bears switched to a more balanced attack on offense, there's been a dramatic increase in the amount of sacks accumulated by the defense. Including the postseason, the Bears have racked up 23 sacks in their past eight games, compared to 13 sacks in their first nine contests.

When an offense can extend drives and allow the defense to rest, it makes players like Julius Peppers even more dangerous. Peppers is expected to be a key figure Sunday in the battle with the Green Bay Packers, and like always, the Pro Bowl defensive end anticipates being chipped or double-teamed every snap.

"It's the same thing every week," Peppers said. "I know teams try to eliminate me from the game, so I'll deal with it the best I can. I'm not going to let that affect me. I'm going to do what I'm asked to do and try to make plays.

"It's helps us out, the familiarity of playing Green Bay helps us out a little bit. They could switch things up, but for the most part, we know each other well. But it's going to come down to who executes, and who imposes their will more than anything else."

With only two sacks in nine career postseason games, Peppers is still looking to add a dominant playoff performance to his resume. If it happens on Sunday, the Bears could find themselves playing in their second Super Bowl in the last five seasons.