It seems fairly clear at this point that human cloning would lead the Arizona Cardinals to a Super Bowl victory, with a roster of 53 Patrick Petersons.
The Cardinals didn't look good in their 13-10 victory Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but wins all count the same, and Peterson played a huge role in that victory, as usual.
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The Cardinals had the same problems they have every week -- bad offensive-line play, no rushing game, mediocre quarterbacking, and Peterson being the only reliable member of the secondary.
Carson Palmer was sacked just once, but he was hurried many times -- contributing to another two interceptions. The Cardinals racked up a whole 56 yards on the ground. One was a 25-yard run by Andre Ellington, which makes the ground game look even worse.
Rashard Mendenhall almost averaged 2 yards per carry, but he didn't (1.8).
So who were the top-five players of the game? Easy:
- 5. Patrick Peterson
- 4. Patrick Peterson
- 3. Patrick Peterson
- 2. Patrick Peterson
- 1. Patrick Peterson
(If we did top-six, we'd throw in Karlos Dansby, with nine solo tackles and a pass deflection.)
Here's how Peterson ruined the NFL debut of Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon, who got the start over Josh Freeman:
Peterson's main match-up was with Bucs wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
Glennon threw at Jackson 11 times.
Jackson caught two. Peterson also caught two.
Isn't Darrelle Revis supposed to be the top cornerback in the NFL? Larry Fitzgerald caught six passes, one for a touchdown, and Revis had just one interception. That Fitzgerald touchdown also came directly after Peterson's first interception, and his second interception was on the Bucs' final drive.
Apparently afraid of Peterson's punt-return ability, the Bucs' Michael Koenen punted out of bounds most of the time. Peterson had just one punt return.
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Peterson certainly didn't play as well in the first three games of the season (including getting lit up by the Lions' Calvin Johnson), and the Cards' D-line and linebackers certainly helped Peterson's cause.
But when Peterson's good, he's good.
The Cardinals are now 2-2, which is kind of remarkable. The next game's on Sunday in Glendale, at 1:05 p. m.