The Cardinals first-round selection (5th overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft, Peterson earned Pro Bowl honors in each of his first two seasons (2011-kick returner; 2012-cornerback) and has started all 32 games at cornerback.
2012: Started all 16 games for the second straight season, leading the team and finishing fourth in the NFL with seven INTs … selected to the Pro Bowl as a CB, joining Hall of Famer Rod Woodson as the only players in NFL history to be named to the Pro Bowl as both a defender and kick returner … totaled 59 tackles, a team-high 17 passes defensed, and one fumble recovery … also had 51 punt returns for 426 yards (8.4 avg.) and three catches for 11 yards and two carries for 13 yards on offense … recorded two tackles and one pass defensed vs. Sea (9/9); returned four punts for 37 yards, including a 17-yard return in the second quarter that helped to set up a Cardinals TD drive … collected his first INT of the season @ NE (9/16), picking off Tom Brady’s pass that was deflected by Darnell Dockett on the Patriots first play of the game; added three tackles, including one for loss, and one pass defensed on defense; appeared on offense for two plays in a Wildcat formation, running one time for 17 yards … collected one tackle vs. Phi (9/23); had 52 yards on five punt returns and ran one play on offense as a Wildcat QB … recovered a fumble by Legedu Naanee and returned it 60 yards in the fourth quarter vs. Mia (9/30), the first fumble recovery of his career; also had five tackles and one pass defensed; returned four punts for 18 yards ... picked off a Sam Bradford pass in the end zone during the third quarter @ StL (10/4); led the DBs with five tackles and had a team-high two passes defensed; also had a season-high 76 yards on five punt returns … recorded his third INT of the season by picking off wildcat QB Brad Smith’s pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter vs. Buf (10/14); totaled four tackles and equaled a career high with three passes defensed; also returned three punts for 36 yards … recorded his fourth INT of the season vs. StL (11/25), picking off Sam Bradford in the end zone in the second quarter; added five tackles and one pass defensed; returned four punts for 59 yards and matched his season-long with a 26-yard return in the first quarter … collected his fifth INT of the season when he picked off Mark Sanchez in the second quarter @ NYJ (12/2); also had four solo tackles and one pass defensed … picked off Russell Wilson in the second quarter for his sixth INT of the year @ Sea (12/9); became first Cardinal with an INT in three straight games since Dexter Jackson in 2003; had two tackles and one pass defensed; also had two punt returns for 11 yards and caught one pass for seven yards on offense … recorded an INT for the fourth straight game vs. Det (12/16), picking off Matthew Stafford in the second quarter and returning it 31 yards to set up a go-ahead TD; became the first Cardinals player with an INT in four straight games since Aeneas Williams in 1994; led the DBs with seven tackles and had two passes defensed; also returned five punts for 54 yards … recorded two unassisted tackles and two passes defensed @ SF (12/30); also had 12 yards on two punt returns; left the game in the second half with a hamstring injury.
2011: Started all 16 games at CB and had a record-setting season as a punt returner, scoring four TDs and totaling 699 yards on 44 returns … tied the NFL single-season record and set the franchise all-time record with four punt return TDs … established an NFL rookie record with 699 punt return yards, which is also a franchise single-season record and ranks as the second-highest single-season total in NFL history (Desmond Howard, 875, 1996) … led the league with four punt return TDs and 699 punt return yards and ranked second with a 15.9-yard return average … selected to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner, becoming the first Cardinal rookie since Anquan Boldin (2003) to earn Pro Bowl honors; joined Johnny Bailey (1992) and Vai Sikahema (1986-87) as the only players in franchise history to be named to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner … named to the AP All-Pro team as a kick returner, the only rookie named to the team … on defense, totaled 63 tackles and one sack, and tied for second on the team with two INTs and 13 passes defensed … blocked two FGs, helping the Cardinals lead the NFL with five blocked FGs on the season … started at CB in first career NFL game vs. Car (9/11); scored the game-winning TD with an 89-yard punt return in the fourth quarter, which marked the second-longest punt return in franchise history at the time (95 yards, Frank Bernardi, 10/14/56 at Washington); became the first player in Cardinals history to return a punt for a TD in the season opener and it was the third-longest play on opening weekend in team history; became the fifth Cardinals rookie to return a punt for a TD; also recorded three unassisted tackles on defense … collected seven tackles @ Was (9/18) and returned two punts for 30 yards … recorded his first career INT @ Sea (9/25) … totaled a team-leading seven solo tackles and had two passes defensed vs. NYG (10/2) … matched his career high with seven unassisted tackles vs. Pit (10/23) … returned a punt 82 yards for a TD in the second quarter @ Bal (10/30); marked his second punt return TD of the season, becoming the eighth player in franchise history to have at least two punt returns for TDs in a season; became the first player in team history with two career punt returns of 80+ yards … scored the game-winning TD with a franchise-record 99-yard punt return in overtime vs. StL (11/6); became the first player in NFL history with three punt return TDs in his first eight career games; marked just the second game-winning punt return in overtime in NFL history (Kansas City’s Tamarick Vanover, 86 yards vs. San Diego, 10/9/95); was the second-longest punt return in NFL history, behind only L.A. Rams Robert Bailey’s 103-yard TD return vs. New Orleans on 10/23/94; became the first player in franchise history with three punt return TDs in a season and tied Ollie Matson and Vai Sikahema for the franchise career record; became the first player in Cardinals history and just the eighth player in the NFL since 1970 with a punt return TD in consecutive games; also had his second INT of the season, picking off Sam Bradford on a flea flicker in the first quarter, and collected four tackles and a career-high three passes defensed; named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week … blocked David Akers 30-yard FG attempt in the second quarter @ SF (11/20); also had four unassisted tackles on defense and returned two punts for 22 yards … returned a punt 80 yards for a TD in the third quarter @ StL (11/27); fourth punt return TD gave him the most of any player in franchise history, breaking a tie with Ollie Matson and Vai Sikahema; tied the NFL single-season record with four punt return TDs in a season and was just the second rookie to do so (Jack Christiansen, Detroit, 1951); became the first player in NFL history with four punt return TDs of 80+ yards in a season; combined with his 99-yard punt return TD against the Rams in week nine, joined Vai Sikahema (two against Tampa Bay on 12/21/96) as the only Cardinals with multiple punt return TDs against a single opponent in the same season; also led the DBs with five tackles; named NFL Special Teams Player of the Week; became the first player in team history to win Player of the Week twice in the same season against the same team; won NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November … collected five tackles and matched a career high with three passes defensed vs. Dal (12/4) … recorded his first career sack vs. SF (12/11), helping the Cardinals total five sacks for the second straight game; totaled five tackles and had one QB pressure; also had 44 yards on five punt returns … had a 32-yard punt return in OT that helped lead to the game-winning FG vs. Cle (12/18); collected two tackles on defense … posted one tackle for loss and two passes defensed @ Cin (12/24); also had his first career pass reception on offense; left the game in the second half with an Achilles injury … returned four punts for 63 yards vs. Sea (1/1/12), setting a new rookie record with 699 punt return yards on the season; surpassed previous record-holder Louis Lipps (656, 1984) with a 42-yard return in the second quarter; blocked Steven Hauschka’s 24-yard FG attempt in the third quarter, his second FG block of the season and fifth overall by the Cardinals; also added four tackles on defense.
Played in 39 games (30 starts) and totaled 135 tackles, seven INTs, 22 passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in three seasons at LSU before leaving for the NFL following his junior season … one of the nation’s most decorated collegiate players in 2010, winning both the Bednarik Award (nation’s top defender) and the Thorpe Award (nation’s top defensive back) … was the first LSU player to win either award and became the first defensive back to win the Bednarik Award since Michigan’s Charles Woodson in 1997 … scored four TDs during his Tigers career, returning two punts, an INT and a blocked FG for TDs … a unanimous All-American selection as a junior in ‘10, became the first player in school history to win the Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defender … also became the first player in LSU history to win the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top DB … earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year honors from the league’s coaches … All-SEC first-team selection as a CB and return specialist … a defensive captain, started all 13 games at right CB and totaled 42 tackles (29 solos), four INTs and six passes defensed … added 1.5 tackles for loss, one QB hurry and blocked a FGA for an LSU defense that ranked in the top 12 nationally in three categories (scoring defense, pass defense and total defense) ... returned two punts for TDs … established school records with 32 kickoffs for 932 yards, ranking first in the SEC and ninth in the country with an average of 29.1 yards per return … 932 kick return yards ranked as the fifth-best total in SEC history and shattered the previous school record of 618 yards, established by Domanick Davis in 1999 … returned 26 punts for 418 yards and two TDs, placing first in the SEC and fourth in the country with an average of 16.1 yards per return … All-SEC second-team choice by the league’s coaches and media and co-recipient of LSU’s Percey E. Roberts Award as the team’s most outstanding defensive player during his sophomore season in ‘09 … earned second-team All-America honors from the Sporting News … started all 13 games at right CB and tallied a career-high 52 tackles (43 solos), two INTs (one of which he returned for a TD) and 13 passes defensed … also recovered one fumble … held Georgia standout WR A.J. Green to just four catches earlier in the year and limited Alabama WR Julio Jones to just three receptions … picked up a blocked FGA and raced 53 yards for a TD in the first quarter at Ole Miss … played in 13 games with four starts as a freshman in ‘08, starting the final four contests of the season, including a bowl win over Georgia Tech ... totaled 41 tackles, an INT, three passes defensed, a forced fumble and a QB hurry.
One of the most highly prized recruits in the country, Peterson was named the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2007 at Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, FL) High School and was named to the Parade All-America team and the USA Today All-America Team … played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was one of six finalists for the U.S. Army Player of the Year Award … totaled 21 tackles and five INTs as a senior, adding 733 yards rushing and 11 TDs on offense … as a junior, earned All-Broward County first-team and 5A All-State second-team honors after totaling seven INTs and 37 tackles … scored six TDs as a junior, three on kickoff returns, two as a receiver and one on the ground … rushed for 213 yards on just 10 carries as a RB … brother, Avery Johnson, is a WR at LSU … went by the name Patrick Johnson (his mother’s maiden name) before formally changing his last name to Peterson in August 2008, to match his biological father, Patrick, Sr. … Sports Administration major.
Friend or foe? Teammates Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson will face each other in the 2014 Pro Bowl. The two stars explain how the matchup will go down.