By the numbers alone, it might appear that Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson had a better day on offense (one completion for 17 yards and one reception for 17 yards) than on defense (gave up six catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns to Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson) in the team’s 25-21 win over the Lions.
But outside of Johnson’s 72-yard touchdown reception in the first half, head coach Bruce Arians came away rather impressed with the two-time Pro Bowler’s performance against one of the league’s most-talented wideouts.
“I thought it was outstanding,” Arians told Arizona Sports 620’s Bickley with Marotta. “Just the fact that he wanted to [cover Johnson]. Most guys would shiver at that thought.
“They don’t see man-to-man very often. I think it throws Matthew [Stafford] off when they’re not double-teaming Calvin [Johnson], like where do I go with this football if he’s not open?”
With the help of Peterson, who limited Johnson to two catches for 20 yards after halftime, the Cardinals’ defense pitched a shutout over the final 30 minutes of play, forcing three 3-and-outs, a fumble and a turnover on downs in the process.
While the lack of a pass rush (one sack in two games) — at least on paper — appears to be a bit of a concern in 2013, Stafford’s lack of production in the second half (8-for-16 for 70 yards and no touchdowns) was enough to convince Arians that things are just fine when it comes to the unit’s ability to put pressure on the quarterback.
“We were able to pressure them,” said Arians. “The sacks are a bit of a false security thing. As far as having one sack, we got after him a bunch of times.”