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Peterson Earns Special Award

Posted Nov 8, 2011

Punt return fetches rookie weekly honor

Patrick Peterson returns a punt 99 yards for a score Sunday.

Return a punt 99 yards in overtime, win a prize.

In one of the more obvious awards in recent memory, Cardinals rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson was named the NFC special teams player of the week after his amazing walk-off touchdown Sunday against the Rams , his first such award.

“Once I get the ball in my hands, I’m just trying to make a play for this team,” Peterson said. “That is why these guys brought me in here.”

The return for a score was Peterson’s third of the season, already tying the franchise’s career record with Vai Sikahema and Ollie Matson. It was the second-longest punt return in NFL history, behind only Robert Bailey’s 103-yard return in 1994 for the Rams, and it was the second overtime punt return touchdown, after Tamarick Vanover’s 86-yarder for the Chiefs in 1994.

Peterson became the first player in franchise history to return punts for touchdowns in back-to-back games.

Coincidentally, Peterson is the first rookie to win the special teams award since teammate LaRod Stephens-Howling did it in Week 12 in 2009 after an excellent performance in Tennessee. Peterson is the sixth rookie in franchise history to win a weekly award, after Stephens-Howling, Steve Breaston (special teams) in 2007, kicker Bill Gramatica in 2001 (special teams), running back Ron Moore in 1993 (offense) and cornerback Lonnie Young in 1985 (defense).

Peterson leads the NFL with an average of 21.8 yards per punt return.


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