With his lofty draft status and incredible playmaking ability on special teams, it was only a matter of time before Patrick Peterson grew into the role of a shutdown corner.
By no means has he reached the mountain top yet, but his level of play and transformation from his first year to his second has been nothing short of incredible. As a rookie, Peterson was ranked eight places from the bottom in Pro Football Focus' individual cornerback grades.
By the end of the season, he had given up 869 yards receiving on 67 receptions. Opposing quarterbacks had a rating of 85.0 when targeting him. However, as the season pushed on, he got noticeably better. The Arizona Cardinals CB allowed only one touchdown reception after Week 4. What's more, only four cornerbacks were targeted more times than Peterson (113) last season.
Through two weeks of the 2012 season, PFF ranks Peterson fourth among all cornerbacks. That's quite the change from No. 106 overall. He has allowed four receptions in 12 targets, and has surrendered a measly 23 yards. Tom Brady's passer rating against him in Week 2 was a minuscule 2.8.
Given the fact he's facing No. 1 receivers every Sunday, it doesn't get any easier.
This week, DeSean Jackson may prove to be his latest victim. Jackson has got off to a hot start in 2012 by catching 11 passes for 191 yards. His per catch average is an astonishing 17.4 yards, so look for him and Peterson to be in a foot race all afternoon long.
Few and far between guys that really have the ability to be great, first of all, because that’s God-given, then you have to put in the work. And you have that burning desire to improve every day. It’s three facets and there aren’t too many guys who have all three. Patrick is one of those rare blends.
That is some definite praise from a guy who is the epitome of the word "greatness."
With that, let's see what else is happening around the NFC West.
Shaun M. Church of Bleacher Report breaks down Arizona's three keys to victory for their Week 3 matchup.
The 49ers secondary is showing that it's the team's No. 1 strength, according to the Associated Press.
Vincent Frank of Bleacher Report says being the best team through two weeks should mean absolutely nothing to 49ers fans.
Mac Leesburg of Bleacher Report examines just where the Seahawks stand in the NFC West.
St. Louis Rams
Robert Klemko of USA Today says Rams running back Steven Jackson has fired back at Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Matthew Melton of Bleacher Report looks at the NFC West and makes a case for why it might be the best division in football.