Monday, January 27, 2014
Patrick Peterson puts on show at Pro Bowl
By Josh Weinfuss
TEMPE, Ariz. -- He wore No. 21.
He was chosen by Deion Sanders.
He lived up to the hype.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson put on a Prime Time-esque performance in Sunday's Pro Bowl, won by Team Rice, 22-21, in Hawaii. He had an interception in the second quarter, two passes defended and a tackle.
But, more importantly, and on a national stage, no less, Peterson continued to establish himself as one of the preeminent corners in the NFL. He allowed just one completion for a yard, in the second quarter. His performance drew rave reviews from NBC commentator Cris Collinsworth.
“Patrick Peterson may be the Deion Sanders of this era,” Collinsworth said. "This guy can do everything."
Collinsworth went on to talk about Peterson's ability to be an impact player on offense as well as what he's already doing on defense. While correct, Collinsworth probably wasn't aware that the Peterson experiment on offense didn't work out as well as the Cardinals would've hoped -- most likely because Collinsworth didn't have a chance to watch the Cards because they weren't on Sunday night football. But Peterson is becoming the current-day Sanders. His athleticism makes him a hassle for defenders and his ability has forced teams to stay away from him, much like Sanders did when he played.
Yet, Peterson's athleticism still makes him a dynamic threat in all phases of the game.
After Peterson picked off a pass intended for Chicago's Brandon Marshall in the second quarter, Sanders hugged his protégé and told him Team Rice shouldn't have tested him. High praise from the best ever.
But it wasn't just Peterson who impressed at the Pro Bowl.
Justin Bethel made sure everyone left Hawaii knowing who he was. He had two special teams tackles and yielded just one yard in returns on two coverages.
Larry Fitzgerald was the only receiver on Team Rice to not record a catch despite being targeted four times. And John Abraham had a tackle.