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Tying an NFL record as a rookie is impressive. Smashing it keeps your team on the highlight reels for years to come.
Right now, Patrick Peterson has tied the NFL single-season record for punt returns for TDs, and what's more, he has done so while fielding every one of them inside the 20—contrary to conventional NFL wisdom.
He is probably singlehandedly responsible for more of the Cardinals' wins this season than anyone else and will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the NFL's elite return men.
However, a tied record is much less impressive than a broken one, and the Cardinals now have five games to try to do just that.
Doing so won't be easy—teams are already aware of Peterson's explosive nature and are, wherever possible, not giving him a chance to field any of his punts, choosing to kick them out of bounds instead. However, when you have Peterson's prodigious skill, five games may just be enough to do it.
A record like this may be thought of as an individual achievement—after all, people speak about Devin Hester's return skills, not the Chicago Bears' special teams—but it really is a team effort.
For one, Peterson will only get the chance to field punts if the rest of his defense is able to force them, stopping teams on third down outside of field-goal range.
Fortunately, the Cardinals defense appears to be coming together and is looking much more impressive now than it was earlier in the season.
Next, while Peterson has shown the ability to shed tacklers on his TD runs, his special teams unit need to hold up the punting team just enough to get him that first step. A step is usually all he needs, but that is very important...you'll never get a touchdown on a fair catch, after all.
Peterson reinvents the rules of punt returning, fielding kicks few other return men would dream about, but that alone makes it all the more tempting for punters to angle their kicks towards the sideline.
Therefore, the Cardinals must finally put just enough pressure on the punter that he is not able to think too much about where exactly the punt is going to end up in the hope of keeping it inbounds for Peterson to return.
All in all, it's not an easy record to break, but if anyone can do it, it's Patrick Peterson and this Cardinals special teams unit.