Vikings Snap Counts: Peterson writes strong narrative in Grade 12 North News


When Patrick Peterson chose Minnesota as his free agency destination in 2021, there was a strong belief that former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer could help the eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback enjoy a second momentous act after a decade of locking wide receivers in the desert for Arizona.

According to Pro Football Focus, Peterson has improved in his first season wearing purple since playing at LSU. His defensive rating of 63.0 a year ago was about eight points higher than his last with the Cardinals.

Still, it was no match for his best years in Arizona. From 2012 – Peterson’s second season in the league – to 2019 he posted ratings of 79.2, 78.7, 59.8, 83.4, 79.8, 69.2, 82.5 and 68 ,6. The average score? 75.15.

(Note: In 2014, Peterson uncharacteristically received eight touchdowns, hence the odd 59.8.)

If you’re familiar with PFF, you know this indicates Peterson lived in the green.

In 2021, under Zimmer’s tutelage, Peterson was living in the middle… or in the yellow. Not bad, but not great.

There was a different perception when Peterson announced his intention to re-sign with the Vikings in March: the Hall of Fame-bound cornerback would spend Year 12 ushering in the future at his job.

Across six games this season, Peterson dispels that narrative.

The 32-year-old again played 100% of Minnesota’s defensive snaps Sunday in Miami. The hot weather didn’t matter, nor did the chase for Dolphins speedsters Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

On coverage against the Fins, Peterson allowed three catches for 36 yards on eight targets. He intercepted Teddy Bridgewater with 3:10 left in the game – who are you calling old? — and had three pass breakups.

On the bye week, Peterson is one of two Vikings players not to miss a single snap on D this season – the other is 24-year-old sophomore safety Camryn Bynum, who has started nine of 20 games. of her career.

The workload isn’t unusual for Peterson — he’s played 90% or more of his team’s defensive snaps every year since being drafted fifth overall in 2011 — but it’s unusual for someone from his age after a declining year.

We guess the arrival of Ed Donatell and an infusion of youth at the corner — Minnesota drafted Andrew Booth Jr. and Akayleb Evans in the second and third rounds this spring — helped rejuvenate Peterson.

Among 108 qualified cornerbacks, Peterson ranks 18th via PFF. His coverage rating (70.3) is the 30th best on the spot while his run defense rating (81.0) is documented as the ninth best of 96 players.

The only Vikings defenseman who fares better against NFL guys in his respective position is veteran outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, with an overall defensive rating of 83.2.

It’s nice to have the old dollars that remind us that there’s plenty left in the tank.

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