Patrick Peterson has looked weary at times this season, and it's easy to understand why.
From a six-game suspension to subpar performance upon his return, the Cardinals' Pro Bowl cornerback is in the midst of the worst season of his career.
On Sunday, Peterson turned back the clock to the lockdown days of old. He begged for a matchup against fellow LSU Tiger Odell Beckham, Jr., was granted it, and then turned in a dominant performance in the Cardinals' 38-24 win.
"He had a different look in his eye in practice," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "He wanted to cover their top receiver. He asked for that. I thought he competed his tail off. It was good to see."
Peterson had an interception in the end zone in the first quarter and nearly added a second one late in the game, barely landing out of bounds after snagging a Baker Mayfield throw. He finished with seven tackles and three passes defensed.
The Cardinals' pass defense had arguably its finest game of the season and Peterson was the catalyst.
"I felt like my legs were back," Peterson said. "I was flying around all game."
Peterson, 29, believes the six-week layoff really affected him physically, and feels like he is finally rounding back into form. He certainly got the best of Beckham, who had eight catches for 66 yards on 13 targets but was basically a non-factor when the outcome was in doubt.
"That's my first time ever going up against Odell," said Peterson, who has long shadowed No. 1 receivers. "It was a pleasure. One fellow Tiger against another. It was a fun matchup. It was a fun game. I knew I was going to have a couple of opportunities with Baker being the gunslinger he is. I wanted to make the best of the opportunities when they came towards me."
There was a lot of focus this week on Larry Fitzgerald, and whether this game was his last at State Farm Stadium. Peterson was asked the same question, not because he is contemplating retirement, but because of his perceived unhappiness in Arizona.
Peterson, who is under contract through 2020, answered definitively that he expects to be with the team next season.
"This won't be my last home game here," Peterson said. "I'll be back."
ARNOLD MAKES IMPACT IN CARDINALS DEBUT
New tight end Dan Arnold had a memorable debut for the Cardinals, hauling in a 6-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds left in the second quarter to put the team up 21-10.
Arnold ran toward the back pylon, turned around and used all of his 6-foot-6 frame to high-point a Kyler Murray pass.
"I knew the sideline was pretty close, and they didn't give me the signal, so I was like, 'OK, I don't know about this,'" Arnold said. "I didn't want to go celebrate too early. Then they gave me the touchdown signal. It was cool. I didn't realize it was that close."
Arnold, the third tight end behind Maxx Williams and Charles Clay, was added off waivers 10 days ago, but Murray said there were no trust issues in targeting him in the end zone.
"This past week, if you were at practice, he made a couple of freakish catches," Murray said. "He didn't take the team by surprise, but everyone was kind of on notice. … I've never had a guy that can do what he can do. It's pretty nice."
REDDICK INJURES GROIN
Haason Reddick was supposed to have a bigger role at outside linebacker following the release of Terrell Suggs on Friday, but injured his groin midway through the game and didn't return. He finished with a pair of tackles.
Linebacker Tanner Vallejo suffered a ribs injury in the second half and did not return. Cornerback Kevin Peterson hurt his shoulder and also did not return. Kingsbury did not have an update on the severity of the injuries.
Images from the Week 15 matchup at State Farm Stadium