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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Nov 29, 2011 - 1:46 pm

Patrick Peterson: Great returner, struggling corner

St. Louis Rams' Brandon Lloyd (83) beats Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson gaining a first down on the catch during the second quarter in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Patrick Peterson has made a name for himself as a punt returner, as he's taken four kicks back for touchdowns in just 11 games as a pro.

However, he was drafted fifth overall because of his cover skills, and the fact that he has yet to really show them can be a little concerning.

According to, Peterson had a rough day in Sunday's win against the Rams, allowing six receptions for 74 yards. Apparently he never came close to breaking up a pass, and has been picked on all season.

He currently leads all corners in yards allowed with 641. Peterson is also tied for second in penalties given up (his eight equals Cedric Griffin and is one behind Brandon Browner); hardly DROTY material.

Indeed, Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt has been trumping Peterson as the league's best defensive rookie, and for the season Peterson has picked off a pair of passes while racking up 47 tackles and eight passes defensed.

Peterson has certainly been thrown to the wolves, so to speak, often times being asked to cover the opponent's best receiver. The former LSU star clearly struggled early on against the likes of Carolina's Steve Smith and New York's Hakeem Nicks, but seemed to be finding his footing. Has he slipped and regressed?

Hard to say, and as long as he keeps scoring touchdowns few will complain. Unless, of course, he keeps allowing them, too.


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