Patrick Peterson came to the Minnesota Vikings to prove he has plenty of good football left in his career.
The eight-time Pro Bowl corner regressed in his final year with the Arizona Cardinals after a decade of dominance as one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks. Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranked Peterson 90th out of 136 cornerbacks after committing the most penalties (12) out of any cornerback in the league — largely due to playing a style of coverage that no longer suited Peterson, who turned 31 last July.
Peterson fared well in the Vikings’ overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, depending on who’s figures you look at.
He recently called out PFF for incorrect statistics as coverage assignments continue to be a point of scrutiny with the NFL analytics giant.
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Peterson Blasts PFF
On the All Things Covered podcast, Peterson’s cousin, Bryant McFadden, pointed out that Peterson didn’t see many plays come his way against the Bengals.
Peterson took the opportunity to bring up that PFF seen the game differently, assigning several plays as Peterson’s coverage assignment.
Here’s the exchange between the two:
Bryant McFadden: You didn’t get a lot of action. I watched the game and it was almost like ‘is he even playing?’ You didn’t see a lot of action.
Patrick Peterson: Pro Football Focus thought I did! That’s why I don’t like that stuff. They said I gave up 3 catches for 30 yards. Last time I checked, I gave up 1 catch for 3 yards to a screen. The catch that I know they’re talking about, I was in Cover 2, so that’s not my assignment. With these gurus, you can clearly see it’s a two high safety that I’m going to the flat. So how is that my guy? That’s why I don’t understand the grades that they give out with certain assignments guys have.
BM: My thing is this: it’s hard to give a guy a grade when you don’t know exactly what he’s supposed to do, what his assignment is. Now you start assuming.
PP: Right! That’s what fans look at… they treat that like the Bible, like these guys who are putting out these numbers know exactly what’s going on when they don’t! Some of the things that they do put out, yeah, it may be accurate. But when it comes to certain coverages, certain blocking schemes, like, put out the right stuff. Because at the end of the day, so many people are looking at this saying ‘this is what a guy is,’ off of what Pro Football Focus is saying. Put out the right stuff and really do the due diligence before you go out and put out certain numbers or things that guys did, for other people to say ‘oh, this guy gave up [this]’ — like you said, I didn’t give up no action. You can clearly see me re-route this guy, dropping backwards.
PFF adjusted Peterson’s coverage stats, attributing two receptions on three targets for 13 yards.
Inside the Vikings’ Will Ragatz took a deep dive into Peterson’s film from Sunday and tended to side with Peterson.
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Peterson Readies for Return to Arizona
The Vikings hit the road in Week 2 to face the Cardinals, who are coming off a 38-13 drubbing of the Tennessee Titans last Sunday.
Quarterback Kyler Murray completed 21 of 32 passes for 289 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. DeAndre Hopkins reeled in six receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns, while Christian Kirk caught five passes for 70 yards and a pair of TDs.
Peterson circled his homecoming to Arizona as one of the biggest games of the season for the 11-year.
“The division games are going to be always a dogfight, you know what I mean,” Peterson said on All Things Covered in the offseason. “But the one I circled is definitely Week 2. That’s not even close.”