When the Minnesota Vikings first signed Patrick Peterson for the 2021 season, it came as a surprise to many within the organization and to fans. There was no doubt that the Vikings needed cornerback depth, but signing a long-time veteran who appeared to be on the back end of his career didn’t seem like the best move. The Vikings trusted Mike Zimmer as the “cornerback whisperer” to extend Peterson’s career the way he did with Terence Newman. Peterson put together a decent season, allowing 37 receptions for 455 yards and 3 TD’s on the season.
But Peterson was only on a one-year deal, meaning he was likely headed elsewhere, especially once the Vikings cleaned house by firing their longtime GM and HC. Peterson surprised fans again, and announced on his podcast, “All Things Covered,” that he’d be re-signing with the Vikings.
Patrick Peterson says the Bills, Bears, Bucs, Colts & Commanders were all in the running for his services before he ultimately signed back with the Vikings. https://t.co/RiVp9363h7 pic.twitter.com/mZMAYz2HUX— All Things Covered (@ATCoveredPod) March 30, 2022
Much like the earlier thoughts about Peterson’s signing, fans wondered if at his age he could be an effective player on the field. Through 7 games this season, though, Peterson is proving that age is truly just a number.
32-year-old Patrick Peterson through seven games this year:— Nick Olson (@NickOlsonNFL) October 31, 2022
• 10 pass breakups (tied for 2nd-most in the NFL)
• 1 INT
• 4th-fewest catches allowed per coverage snap
• 9th-best PFF grade among CBs
PFF isn’t even the whole story though, as you really shouldn’t use that as the only tool to analyze a player. He shows up on film as well.
This was the dreaded Monday Night Football game vs. Philadelphia, but there were some bright spots. Including this blocked field goal, by none other than Patrick Peterson.
This play got lost in the shuffle, but it's incredible. Most NFL FGs are blocked from the middle. Too much ground for the edge to get there when ball is low. But Patrick Peterson gets a great jump, Josh Metellus runs interference and Peterson needs just 5 steps to get there. pic.twitter.com/H61eaP7eMc— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) September 21, 2022
Week in and week out, Peterson is also making plays in his natural position. Here we see Peterson in the game vs Miami, where he does a great job of forcing a pass breakup on a receiver running across the middle of the field.
In that same game, Peterson used his veteran experience to jump the route here and essentially seal the game for the Vikings over the Dolphins. Again, vintage Patrick Peterson.
Fresh off the bye week, Peterson faced his former team, and boy did he deliver. Here, he just reads the play perfectly and makes a great play to break up the pass.
every patrick peterson pass breakup is clinic tape. This time it's "shuffle" technique. pic.twitter.com/BKcwqKzpJS— Luke Braun (@LukeBraunNFL) October 31, 2022
There have been a lot of surprises for the Vikings this season, in addition to their record, but the resurgence of Patrick Peterson has been one of the most impactful. That was needed if the Vikings wanted to be successful this season. He has continued to show up week in and week out, and with each promising performance, you can see the confidence and energy he is bringing to that defense. Maybe it’s the new coaching staff, the new defense, or maybe he’s drinking a glass of wine a night like Terence Newman used to. Whatever it is, the Vikings need Peterson to keep playing like his vintage self.