Thursday, September 20, 2012
Patrick Peterson's week to break out?
By Mike Sando
The Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson tied an NFL record with four punt returns for touchdowns last season.
The Philadelphia Eagles held him to a 4.5-yard average on six returns in their November meeting, however. This season, Peterson has yet to break a return longer than 17 yards through two games as the Cardinals prepare to face the Eagles in Week 3.
Peterson, who earned Pro Bowl honors as a rookie returner in 2011, went into this season focused on improving as a cornerback. He has done that. A groin injury made him questionable against New England in Week 2, but Peterson still picked off a pass and provided solid coverage. He wasn't on the injury report Wednesday.
Adam Grigely of ESPN Stats & Information, in debating Marty Callinan, points to special teams as one area where the Cardinals should have the advantage Sunday. Arizona blocked a field-goal try against Seattle in Week 1. The Cardinals blocked a punt against New England in Week 2.
Grigely: "In 2012, the Cardinals are tied for fifth in the NFL with a 6.9 Special Teams EPA (total expected points by special teams); the Eagles are 31st in that category. Peterson leads the league with four punt return touchdowns since the start of last season."
The Eagles allowed a 23-yard punt return to Cleveland's Josh Cribbs in Week 1.