Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson: 49ers loss is on me, looking ahead to Bucs

Nov 7, 2019, 4:23 PM | Updated: 8:37 pm
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (22) avoids the tackles of Arizona Cardinals cornerbac...
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (22) avoids the tackles of Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Steve Keim, Kliff Kingsbury and Vance Joseph said, in some way or another, that Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson didn’t play his best last Thursday.

A loss to the San Francisco 49ers on a short week exposed Peterson, who was less than three weeks back from his six-game PED suspension. After forcing turnovers in his first two games, Peterson struggled chasing Niners wideout Emmanuel Sanders and Co. around.

Like his general manager, head coach and defensive coordinator, Peterson didn’t duck the truth of the matter.

“Last Thursday is definitely behind me and us, but I definitely take responsibility and ownership,” the eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback said Thursday.

“Legs were a little sluggish but that wasn’t the issue. There was a lot of turnaround in those 11 days (since returning). Just getting the body used to taking that pounding for a full 60 minutes. I think I’m definitely getting there, starting to turn the corner.”

Peterson showed signs of slippage a week prior at New Orleans. He mostly shadowed receiver Mike Thomas but looked a step off, especially on quick-hit slants.

Against the 49ers, the issues worsened, but communication problems also had an impact in the numbers.

On a 22-yard touchdown catch by 49ers receiver Dante Pettis, Peterson said a mix-up with rookie corner Byron Murphy led to Pettis going uncovered down the field.

By the time Peterson attempt to recover, he felt it was too late.

The optics of it looked worse when he pulled up well before Pettis caught the pass from Jimmy Garoppolo in the back of the end zone.

“Not blaming anyone because I don’t do that, but that was me and Murph(‘s) first rep at playing the bunch formation and all game I was getting with (Tramaine) Brock and we was locking it all game. I came up over on a motion and it was a just a miscommunication.

“Honestly because he was so open, I thought the quarterback was literally going to throw it on a line drive. But looking back on that play, I definitely thought I could have gave more. I just thought I was just out of position, but that goes to show you’re never really out of a play ’til you’re out of it. That was just a bonehead play and I’m looking to hopefully make that up this week by making some plays.”

He will get quite the challenging chance at redemption against Mike Evans (842 yards, seven touchdowns) and Chris Godwin (766 yards, six touchdowns), who are both top-five in the NFL for most receiving yards to this point.

Joseph, for what it’s worth, appreciated Peterson’s self-awareness after the rough outing.

The defensive coordinator knows that Arizona’s defensive issues are bigger than Peterson. The Cardinals pass-rush only got one sack and five total hits on Garoppolo, and though the run defense impressed against one of the NFL’s most deadly ground games, Arizona allowed San Francisco to convert on 11 of 17 third downs.

“We forced 17 third downs, we stopped the run, which nobody has,” Joseph said. “The plan was to stop the run and to win third downs, and we didn’t do it. It wasn’t all Patrick. He didn’t have a great night, but it was all of us on third downs.”

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