Patrick Peterson will be one of the biggest factors on the Arizona Cardinals defense, regardless of age.
Patrick Peterson turned 30 years old on July 11. This is normally the age where athletes start to decline in their performance. For Peterson, however, he expects to have his best season this year.
In nine games in the 2019 season, Peterson only allowed two 100-yard games against Robert Woods and Emmanuel Sanders. Against some of the top receivers such as Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr, and Mike Evans, he allowed fewer than 90 yards.
While it was not his best season through those nine games due to being suspended through the first six, he still showed signs of productivity.
Peterson was targeted 77 times and allowed 59 receptions, which is a 77 percent catch rate. He also gave up 713 yards and two touchdowns. Opposing quarterbacks had a 115 passer rating when targeting him as well.
Compared to what Peterson did in 2018, however, it might look like he is on the decline, but he still has a lot left in the tank.
In the 2018 season, Peterson was targeted 93 times and allowed 59 receptions in all 16 games, which is a 63 percent catch rate. He also gave up 680 yards – 33 yards fewer than the 2019 season – and five touchdowns. Quarterbacks only had a 91 passer rating against Peterson that season.
It is unusual for Peterson to get picked on frequently by teams, but after he returned from his suspension, quarterbacks were not as afraid of testing him as they were in the 2018 season.
This was Peterson’s first season playing under new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who led the team to being the worst ranked defense in the league.
Now that he can play in all 16 games this season and knows Joseph’s scheme, he can return to his regular, Pro Bowl standards.
His toughest matchups going in to the 2020 season will be against the Cowboys, Bills and Rams. He was at his best when he could follow the number one receiver, but he has not been able to do that over the last few seasons due to new defensive schemes from former coaches. Maybe this year Joseph will let him loose.