Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson makes big plays on defense and offense

Brian McIntyre
September 16, 2012

With four punt returns for touchdowns of at least 80 yards during his rookie season, the NFL world is already well aware of the elite athleticism that made Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson the No. 5 overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.

In 2012, Peterson is beginning to demonstrate his athleticism in the two primary phases of the game.

Peterson, who had two interceptions during his rookie season, grabbed his first interception of the 2012 season when he made diving, one-handed grab of a pass from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady that had been deflected at the line of scrimmage by Darnell Dockett. Peterson's interception helped setup a 47-yard field goal by Jay Feely that gave the Cardinals an early 6-0 lead over the Patriots.

In addition to the interception, Peterson had a 17-yard run on a direct snap on the Cardinals' opening possession, which resulted in a 38-yard field goal by Feely.

According to official playing-time documents, Peterson played in just three snaps as a rookie -- one rush for zero yards, one reception for -1 yards -- and did not play on offense in last week's win over the Seattle Seahawks. With 2012 first round pick Michael Floyd developing at a slower than expected pace, it would not be a surprise if Ken Whisenhunt took advantage of the game-breaking ability that Peterson brings to the table and used him more on offense as the season progresses.