Patrick Peterson, Carson Palmer land in NFL Network’s Top 100 list

Jun 29, 2016, 6:26 PM | Updated: Jun 30, 2016, 11:29 am
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) watches a team practice with Patrick Peterson (21),...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) watches a team practice with Patrick Peterson (21), Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

The NFL Network continued releasing its list of the league’s top 100 players on Wednesday, and a couple more Cardinals were honored.

Already Calais Campbell (71), Chandler Jones (48), Tyrann Mathieu (28) and Larry Fitzgerald (27) have been listed, and now both cornerback Patrick Peterson and quarterback Carson Palmer have joined them.

The rankings, of course, are compiled after surveying the players.

Peterson had a career-best season in 2015, collecting 35 total tackles along with two interceptions and 10 passes defensed. Opponents rarely threw his way, and when they did, they did not experience much success.

The clip highlighted how Peterson held the Bengals’ A.J. Green to 24 yards on two catches, and the Steelers’ Antonio Brown to two catches and 26 yards.

“There were instances in the season I was kind of getting upset because I was getting more love than Pat,” Peterson’s teammate, Mathieu, said. “But I wasn’t checking the best players. I felt like he deserved way more attention because he was doing it week-in and week-out.”

To his credit, while Peterson moved up a spot in the rankings, he is not at all satisfied with where he stands.

Peterson’s teammate, Palmer, is a bit closer to the top spot after turning in an MVP-caliber season in 2015. The veteran came back from a torn ACL and threw for 4,671 yards with 35 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. He completed 63.7 percent of his passes, posted a QB rating of 104.6, was named to the Pro Bowl and came it at No. 12.

He was not ranked last season.

“When you have somebody covered, there’s few quarterbacks in this league that they’ll make a throw to throw the guy open, so it makes it very difficult to defend against veteran quarterbacks that can put the ball wherever they want to, and Carson’s that guy,” Saints linebacker James Laurinaitis said.

“A lot of guys say that Carson Palmer, he can’t run, he can’t escape the pocket,” Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said, while footage of a play the QB made against Minnesota that ended in a John Brown touchdown ran. “And I remember the play, I thought our guys had him. Palmer escaped pressure, threw the ball from the opposite side of the field all the way to the other hash, the guy caught it and he took the distance on me.”

Palmer’s season, of course, ended with one of the worst games of his career, but it’s clear the 36-year-old earned a newfound level of respect for what he accomplished in 2015, not only for what he did, but how he did it.

His performance in the team’s Divisional Round win over the Green Bay Packers stood out, as he shrugged off a so-so game to complete two big passes in overtime.

“When you step outside of your comfort zone in a critical point in the game, that’s called being clutch,” Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels said. “I love the way he competes.”

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