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Matchup with Calvin Johnson is 'statement game' for Patrick Peterson

Arizona Cardinals' cornerback Patrick Peterson is preparing for a showdown with Detroit's Calvin Johnson in what his defensive coordinator says is a "statement game" for the second-year pro.


One of the most watched match-ups in Sunday's game between the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions will be cornerback Patrick Peterson going up against one of the game's best receivers, Detroit's Calvin Johnson.

Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator Ray Horton said in a post on the team's website that "Patrick is ready for this guy. ... It's probably a statement game for Patrick. It will be an interesting spotlight on him this week. ... It's important for him to prove his elite status."

Coming off the embarrassing 58-0 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Cardinals' defense is looking to rebound against Detroit. Peterson, who has had a strong season despite the Cardinals' defensive woes, has made some strong comments leading up to the match-up with Johnson. Horton said he has no problem with that.

"They're the ones that have to back it up," Horton said. "I encourage them to be bold and assertive. If he believes that, and if he wants to say that, I am sure everyone else will try to co-sign that check for him."

Johnson leads the NFL in receiving yards with 1,546 on the season to go along with five touchdowns. Peterson, in his second NFL season, is tied for third in the league with six interceptions.