Patrick Peterson proudly held up his Pro Bowl packet for the assembled media on Thursday, his eighth such honor in eight NFL seasons.
It sparked a natural question: Which year has been the star cornerback’s best?
Most would point to 2015 as the pinnacle, when Peterson made the All-Pro team. Pro Football Focus believes otherwise. The analytics site has given Peterson an overall grade of 86.8 for 2018, which surpasses 2015 as the best of his career.
It has raised even Peterson’s eyebrows.
“That’s so crazy to me,” Peterson said.
It’s not that Peterson believes he’s played poorly this year. He just knows he had many excellent years previously.
“I don’t know how those guys grade people’s play, because I feel that although I’m playing a little bit more off (in coverage), I’m not getting much action,” Peterson said. “I’m not complaining at all but I’m just trying to figure out how this is my better year when I’ve played way better in previous years. But those guys are behind the screen and pushing the pencil, so thank you.”
While he may quibble about the rankings, it’s evident Peterson continues to play at a high level. He is 28 years old but has not lost any of the elite athleticism that helped rocket him to stardom.
“I still have everything I had since I came in the league,” Peterson said. “It’s crazy you (ask) that, because I was just telling my personal coach that I still feel like I’m a rookie, body-wise, the way my body feels. When I wake up in the morning I don’t have any aches or bruises. Walking fine. Having a lot of energy. I still feel like a young player.”