Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson pressing in return game

Oct 3, 2012, 5:07 PM | Updated: 6:17 pm

There are certain happenings in the world of sports that no matter what you’re doing, you drop it and watch with great anticipation.

In 2011, a Patrick Peterson punt return became one of those happenings. Peterson tied an NFL record by returning four punts for touchdowns and set a Cardinals franchise record by returning one for 99 yards and a score.

But this year has been a little different for Peterson, who currently ranks 24th in the league by averaging just 7.9 yards per return. His longest effort so far is only 17 yards.

Last Sunday in a win over Miami, Peterson fumbled/muffed three punts and averaged only 4.5 yards per return. He also fair caught one punt at the Cardinals’ three-yard-line, which is a no-no for even the most explosive returners.

“I was pressing last week, for sure,” Peterson said Tuesday. “Being that my hometown team was coming to Arizona, I just wanted to make something happen so bad. I had a lot of family members here in town.

“Not making that an excuse, but at the end of the day I have to hold onto the ball and put the ball in the offense’s hands and not put it on the ground and have an opportunity for the other team to recover the fumbles.”

It’s interesting to note that two of Peterson’s four touchdown returns last season, including the 99-yarder, came against the St. Louis Rams, who play host to the Cardinals Thursday night.

Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this report

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