Patrick Peterson is the league’s best returner
Nov 8, 2011, 5:52 PM | Updated: 7:08 pm
Patrick Peterson has returned 19 punts this season,
picking up 414 yards and three touchdowns.
Two of those touchdowns have won games for the Cardinals,
and his average of 21.8 yards per return easily leads the
So maybe it should be no surprise that the Cardinals
rookie is garnering recognition, including being named as
the best kick returner by Chris Wesseling of
The explosive rookie has already tied the franchise’s
career record with three punt-return TDs, highlighted by a
99-yard score to beat the Rams in overtime. All three
touchdowns have gone for more than 80 yards, leaving
Peterson with a gaudy 21.8-yard average that will have
punters avoiding him going forward.
Having a weapon like Peterson changes game plans, as teams
will likely stop kicking towards him. That will lead to
shorter punts and maybe more mistakes, giving the
Cardinals better field position.
It’s interesting to remember Peterson was drafted to play
cornerback and not just return kicks, and the rookie is
improving in that area too.
The fifth-overall pick out of LSU, the Cardinals appear to
have a winner in this one.