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Patrick Peterson's Presence Lifts Cardinals' Defense

CB Patrick Peterson, right, celebrates his forced fumble with Chandler Jones on Sunday.
CB Patrick Peterson, right, celebrates his forced fumble with Chandler Jones on Sunday.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Patrick Peterson is never shy to toot his own horn, and he blared it postgame Sunday after the Cardinals’ best defensive performance of the season coincided with his return to the lineup.

“The P2 effect set in,” Peterson said with a chuckle.

The Cardinals’ star cornerback was suspended for the first six games of the year but made a large impact throughout the 27-21 win over the Giants. He had a team-high seven solo tackles, added a late sack and forced fumble to help ice the game and played the type of sticky coverage that makes life easier on the other 10 defenders on the field.

Peterson took the credit for the Cardinals getting an interception on the first series of the game even though he wasn’t involved, and coach Kliff Kingsbury agreed that his availability was a huge boost.

“It helps to have one of the best corners to ever play the game back,” Kingsbury said. “We survived a little bit through the first part of the season without having that guy. You could see the difference he made on the field today.”

Peterson said the cornerback blitz was in the game plan all week. It is something that can be risky because it takes the team’s best cover corner out of the secondary, but Peterson liked that defensive coordinator Vance Joseph used him advantageously.

“I wouldn’t say this game plan was tailored for me, but Vance and the defensive coaching staff did a great job of putting me in position to help this team and help make plays like that down the stretch,” Peterson said. “Fourth quarter you have to make big plays, and big-time players make big-time plays in those type of moments.”

JORDAN HICKS NABS CARDINALS’ FIRST INTERCEPTION

The Cardinals allowed 16 touchdown passes without an interception in the first six games of the season but inside linebacker Jordan Hicks was the one to put an end to that, picking off Daniel Jones the first time the defense stepped on the field.

The Cardinals had a few chances in previous games and finally made one count.

“We knew it would come,” Hicks said. “It’s tough, because a lot of it is hand-in-hand (with the pass-rush), but we have to make plays on the ball. We have to. Turning the ball over, our offense was able to score off that drive. We’ve got to continue to do that.”

DAVID JOHNSON WAS EMERGENCY OPTION

Running back David Johnson played three snaps early in the contest but didn’t see the field the rest of the way. Kingsbury said Johnson only entered the game because Chase Edmonds needed the blow.

“We were just being smart,” Kingsbury said. “It was a need-based deal, and Chase needed to be spelled, but we wanted to make sure that Dave came out of there clean for later on in the season.”

Johnson finished with one carry for two yards, while Edmonds exploded for 126 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries. Kingsbury said Edmonds would have been the ball-carrier all game even if he struggled because Johnson was not 100 percent.

“We would have just kept going with Chase,” Kingsbury said.

Images from the Week 7 matchup in New York

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