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While the Arizona Cardinals aren't having a great year, rookie defensive back Patrick Peterson has been unbelievable.
He is a great athlete, and proved that at the 2011 NFL combine. Peterson ran the second fastest 40-yard dash time at the combine, a blazing fast 4.34 seconds. He tied for the third best vertical jump among DBs with 38 inches. Also take into consideration that he was one of the biggest DBs at the combine, 6'0" tall and 219 pounds.
He got off to a great start with his first NFL play. In a preseason game on Aug. 27, Peterson intercepted San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and returned it for a touchdown (I guess that isn't special this year, but still).
He has played like a veteran at only 21 years of age. If he keeps up his current production he may win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Peterson puts his elite athleticism to use every time he takes the field. He isn't one of those players who plays half speed or takes plays off on occasion. This kid plays a full game like a train off its tracks. He plays with an intensity not many players have, a more productive Taylor Mays type of player (safety out of USC, currently a Cincinnati Bengal).
So far this season through Week 9, Peterson has 38 tackles, 34 of which are solo tackles. He also has two interceptions thus far.
He will undoubtedly have success in the second half of the season, especially if the Cardinals offense sputters often and forces the defense to spend a lot of time on the field.
Peterson didn't wait long to show the world he was more than a threat on defense.
Peterson scored his first touchdown as a pro on a Cardinals-record 89-yard punt return in Week 1 of the NFL season. It was also in a big spot, late in the fourth quarter to put Arizona ahead for good as it beat Cam Newton's Carolina Panthers, 28-21.
Peterson scored his second touchdown on an explosive 82-yard punt return late in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 30. He didn't wait long to show off again, returning a punt for a touchdown on Nov. 6 against the St Louis Rams. Peterson fielded the punt at the 1-yard line and scored on a 99-yard return to win the game.
I wonder if Deion Sanders copyrighted his nickname "Prime Time?"