Cornerback Patrick Peterson completes a pass to receiver Kerry Taylor during Sunday's 25-21 win.
It was a game Patrick Peterson wasn't going to forget any time soon.
There was the 17-yard catch he made on a Carson Palmer pass, his first reception of the season. There was a 17-yard pass he threw to receiver Kerry Taylor, a highlight-worthy scramble loop-around back away from the defense before chucking the pass on the run.
And then there was the Pro Bowl cornerback's featured job – his coverage of Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson during the Cardinals' 25-21 win Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Johnson did a little damage, turning a short slant into a 72-yard touchdown catch and later beating Peterson a second time for a lobbed three-yard touchdown. But Johnson was a non-factor in the second half, and for a second straight year, Peterson was satisfied his work on "Megatron" was good enough in a game the Cardinals won.
"It was a blast," Peterson said. "That's why you play in the NFL, to go against guys like that. I thought I fared pretty well, except
for that big slant."
Johnson had just two catches for 20 yards in the second half.
"Anybody in the NFL who says we are going to stop Calvin Johnson from catching them on you is obviously playing Tecmo Bowl, because you're delusional," defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. "We put our best corner on him, and he made some plays, and our best corner made some plays."
The Cardinals tried to maneuver Johnson and, by extension, quarterback Matthew Stafford into certain throws into coverage. Coach Bruce Arians praised Peterson for wanting to stay on Johnson the whole game.
Meanwhile, Peterson got his offensive act going. His reception jump-started a third-quarter drive, although that ended with Palmer's interception returned for a touchdown. His pass to Taylor led to a Jay Feely field goal.
"I believe I can play pretty much every position and pretty much every second on the clock," Peterson said.
A MISSED OPPORTUNITY THAT COST THE CARDS
Johnson's 72-yard touchdown came only after Stafford's pass seemingly went right through the hands of linebacker Karlos Dansby. Instead of an interception, the Cardinals gave up points.
"We trapped them into a slant throw and we ran right past it," Arians said.
Dansby was still shaking his head after the game.
"Evidently it went right between my arms – I tried to cradle it – because I jumped it so fast," Dansby said. "I knew it was coming. (Arians) has seen me jump that route all camp. 'Bruce, I'm not going to let you run this route.' Just didn't get the ball. That's on me. They brought me in to make plays like that and unfortunately, I didn't make that one."
ELLINGTON GETS TO THE END ZONE
Andre Ellington was only a sixth-round pick and came into training camp as arguably the fifth of five running backs. He may have made a move into the backup role behind Rashard Mendenhall.
Ellington had an eye-opening day against the Lions, scoring on a 36-yard touchdown pass, starting the game-winning drive with a 16-yard run, and finishing with 62 total yards on six touches.
"It means a lot for the coaches to have that trust in me early in my career," Ellington said.
All four active running backs – Ryan Williams was inactive again – got at least one carry. Mendenhall had a solid game again, gaining 66 yards on 15 carries and adding two receptions for 28 yards.
"The guys did a great job up front," Mendenhall said. "We were able to get some things going."
FEELY WITH A BIG REBOUND
A week ago, Arians wasn't happy with kicker Jay Feely, after he missed a field goal and had poor kickoffs. That wasn't a problem Sunday, when Feely converted all four field-goal attempts and boomed most of his kickoffs deep into the end zone.
"I know I have to do my job," Feely said. "(Arians) criticizing me doesn't change the way I prepare of the way I believe in myself. That's the one thing experience gives you, the ability to not worry about that kind of stuff."