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What CB Patrick Peterson had to do with the Cardinals’ 8 sacks

Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up prior to their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on October 20, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals had a welcome return on Sunday: their number one cornerback, Patrick Peterson.

The 29-year-old three-time All-Pro selection had never missed a game until this year, when he was suspended for six games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. But his performance on Sunday, while lacking any interceptions or passes defensed, did see him contribute in a different way.

The Cardinals had eight sacks sacks.

Peterson himself had one, but if you ask other members of the Cardinals, they’ll tell you he contributed to the other seven sacks of Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones by just being out there.

“Him taking away probably the first read in the progression for a young quarterback, I think it made the young quarterback hold the ball a couple times where he may have went to Pat’s guy,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “You’re not going to challenge Patrick too much. And so he had to hold the ball, try to get through other reads.

“Watching the film, I’m not sure how their offense works or how they’re coached watching the film. I do think Pat was able to take away that first read on several occasions.”

Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones, who had four of those eight sacks to raise his sack total to 8.5 on the season, had a similar remark.

“The P2 effect,” Jones said. “Eight sacks! P2 even had one of them, a forced fumble. But credit to him just shutting down a whole side of the defense. When you have a player like that on your defense, it’s very advantageous for the whole team. Especially for the pass-rushers. ‘Cause the quarterback’s kind of holding the ball trying to find out who’s open.”

According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, it would appear that Jones favored one side of the field over the other:

“There was a No. 21 on that field that is pretty good,” Kingsbury said. “I mean that brought a lot of confidence, a lot of swagger, the way he carries himself. He’s one of the best players in the league. He definitely helped.”

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