TEMPE, Ariz. — You’ll have a tough time finding anyone in the Arizona Cardinals organization who feels Patrick Peterson has been at the top of his game this season.
Fresh off signing a five-year, $70 million contract during training camp — one that is worth a guaranteed $48 million — the 24-year-old has allowed completions on 17-of-27 passes for 248 yards with four touchdowns and a passer rating of 132.4 when targeted, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
Things seemed to come to a head in Sunday’s 30-20 win over the Washington Redskins as Peterson allowed a pair of touchdowns, including a 64-yard score when he was beat on a slant pattern by DeSean Jackson in the second quarter.
“I just think I got my head around too late on the play,” Peterson said. “I believe that’s the only play I gave up. The other one was a pick play.”
It’s absolutely true that not all touchdowns are created equal, and it could be argued that a perfectly thrown pass will always beat the best coverage a defender can offer. But when asked about his star corner’s performance Sunday, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians offered that it “was not good for him” and “was not his best game.”
“Can he get better,” safety Tyrann Mathieu asked. “Absolutely. I think we all can. But he’s on that level where he can’t have a bad game. People can’t go for a 60-yard touchdown on him.
“So he holds himself accountable, obviously our coaches hold him accountable. I hold him accountable as a little brother to him, and he doesn’t want it to happen anymore.”
Last season, Peterson allowed seven touchdown catches, with quarterbacks posting a 91.3 rating when throwing his direction. The season before that he surrendered six scores, though passers amassed a rating of just 64.8 when attacking him.