Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
Patrick Peterson seemed to struggle in all facets of the game on Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cardinals could easily blame their most recent loss on the ineptitude of the offense and it would be justified. They failed to score a touchdown, despite having many opportunities to do so. They couldn't run the ball, which made for some quick 3 and outs, putting the defense back on the field prematurely.
But, to be honest, most of the defense didn't play all that well either. With the exception of players like Daryl Washington, Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell, they were actually pretty poor. They looked like a shell of the unit we saw take the field against the Eagles just a few short weeks ago.
One of the reasons why is because Patrick Peterson, the team's young #1, budding superstar cornerback, struggled mightily. He allowed two touchdown catches to Michael Crabtree while only recording 3 tackles on the night. In the punt game, he was virtually invisible. Anytime he would get the ball when it wasn't called for a fair catch, he could be found out of bounds just a few yards from where he caught it. That is why he had 4 returns for 15 total yards.
Taking a look at the first TD pass Peterson allowed to Crabtree is National Football Post. They give a great breakdown of how the fade worked so well for Crabtree, saying that Peterson virtually did everything correctly except for punching the ball out at the end. Then again, it would have been very difficult to do so.
On the second touchdown pass, Peterson simply slipped to the ground, allowing Crabtree to run into the end zone unscathed after a short curl route.
This was perhaps Peterson's worst game of the season, as he also missed plenty of tackles that should have been made and looked like an undrafted player out there, not the usually reliant superstar that he is.
But that's the thing: the kid is young. Sure, he will be a superstar. I have no doubt of that. But on his way to greatness, he is going to hit some bumps in the road. Continuing to perfect his technique, work on his tackling skills and staying focused are things he needs to accomplish if he wants to be the greatest ever.
Honestly, I have no doubt that he can be, either. It just might take a little more time than we initially thought.