3 reasons why Patrick Peterson will help the Vikings return to the playoffs

(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Peterson
(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Peterson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Peterson /

He’s got plenty of juice left in the tank

Since the news broke of the Vikings signing Patrick Peterson, not all of the reactions have been full of excitement. Some think Minnesota just overpaid for a 30-year-old cornerback who is past his prime and isn’t that much better than some of the guys they already have on their roster.

While Peterson hasn’t been a First-Team All-Pro since 2015, he still has the talent to perform like one of the top corners in the NFL, especially with Mike Zimmer now being his head coach.

Last year, he finished with 61 tackles to go with three interceptions and eight pass breakups. However, opposing quarterbacks were able to complete 67.1 percent of their passes to guys Peterson was covering while also posting a 98.2 passer rating on these throws.

Obviously, these aren’t amazing numbers, but Zimmer’s presence should help eliminate the worries that this production might cause some Vikings fans. At the very least, Peterson likely won’t be asked to do as much in Minnesota as he was for the Cardinals last season.

Arizona’s defense ran the most man-to-man coverage in the NFL in 2020, and now, the veteran corner gets to play in a Vikings defense that utilizes zone concepts more often than his former team.

Sometimes, a change of scenery can do wonders for a corner that most believe is close to being finished. Just look at how Xavier Rhodes was able to bounce back with the Indianapolis Colts last season or when Terence Newman was able to get his career back on track when he joined the Cincinnati Bengals defense (coached by Zimmer) in 2012.

Peterson is someone Zimmer has admired from afar for a while, so this isn’t just Minnesota signing the corner because of his past success. The Vikings head coach believes Peterson can help his defense improve next season, and when it comes to corners, Zimmer is usually right.