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Picks Earn NFC Honor For Patrick Peterson

Cornerback becomes Cardinal winner for third straight week, fifth this season

A frame-by-frame look at Patrick Peterson's first career interception for a touchdown.

Healthy for the first time heading into the Cowboys game a couple of weeks ago, Patrick Peterson promised his season was about to take a turn for the better.

The cornerback has proven himself right.

After shutting down Dez Bryant in Dallas, Peterson starred in Sunday's 31-14 win over the Rams, grabbing his first two interceptions of the season and returning one for a touchdown – the first such return of his career, and a reason he was named the NFC's defensive player of the week Wednesday.

"I just got tired of hearing all the criticism, people not really knowing the situation, but at the end of the day, being an

athlete, those are some of the things you have to do, fight through injuries," Peterson said. "Like I said, I just wanted to put the criticism behind me. I wanted to go out there and play tough football, play Patrick Peterson football."

Dealing with a worse-than-he-let-on ankle sprain and then a concussion, Peterson hadn't played to a Pro Bowl level after signing his huge contract extension in training camp. As the Cardinals got to the season's midway point, Peterson has figured it out.

"Four-star, five-star," coach Bruce Arians called Peterson's performance against St. Louis. "That's what we expect from him all the time."

It is the third straight week a Cardinal earned one of the NFC awards. Justin Bethel won it for special teams a week ago and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was the offensive choice the week before that. Kicker Chandler Catanzaro (Week 6), punt returner Ted Ginn (Week 2) have also won awards this season.

It is the first time since Weeks 15-17 of the 1998 season (safety Tommy Bennett, kicker Chris Jacke, safety Kwamie Lassiter) that the Cardinals have won player of the week awards in three straight games.

Peterson won the defensive player of the week award once before, last season in Week 4 when he also had two crucial fourth-quarter interceptions in a game at Tampa Bay. Peterson also won special teams player of the week awards as a punt returner twice in 2011.

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