Patrick Peterson named to NFL.com’s midseason All-Pro team
It’s been a long eight games for the Arizona Cardinals.
They benched their original starting quarterback, fired their offensive coordinator after struggling to get their best two weapons going and forged through a two-day period when word leaked that one of their star players wanted to be traded. That star, Patrick Peterson, reaffirmed his commitment to the Cardinals and said he’d work to fix a defense attempting to learn a new scheme under first-year coach Steve Wilks.
Despite the defensive issues and despite the changes around him, no player has been more consistent — and consistently good — than Peterson.
NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling recognizes that greatness among the team’s many problems, naming the Arizona corner and the Dallas Cowboys’ Byron Jones to his midseason All-Pro team.
We continue to hear that Peterson’s press-corner skills aren’t a great fit for Steve Wilks’ zone scheme, yet the seven-time Pro Bowl selection is enjoying what may be his finest season to date. If Peterson was once the game’s most physically gifted defensive back, that honor might now fall to Jones, who has been an unqualified success in his transition from safety to cornerback. Why was this difference-making talent going to waste at the wrong position for two straight seasons?
According to Pro Football Focus, Peterson currently ranks sixth among corners in overall defense with a grade of 82.7.
He’s fifth in coverage with a grade of 85.0, which actually ticked up from his 84.8 rating heading into the Cardinals’ come-from-behind win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 8.
In that game, Peterson was boom and bust, losing receiver Marquise Goodwin on a 55-yard touchdown before showing his elite closing speed to break up another deep ball shot later on in a 18-15 victory.
Through half a season in Wilks’ scheme that uses more zone than the previous coaching regime, Peterson has 35 tackles, one more than he recorded all year in 2017. He’s on pace to set a career-high in that regard and also has added 1.0 sack, four passes defensed, a fumble recovery and two interceptions.