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Patrick Peterson primed for Calvin Johnson matchup


If you took a straw poll from across the NFL asking who would play the Optimus Prime to Calvin Johnson's Megatron, you'd get an array of responses.

This week Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians offered up Patrick Peterson as the perfect foil to Johnson.

"Probably, in my opinion, the best corner in the league is going against the best receiver in the league," Arians said Wednesday of Sunday's matchup with the Detroit Lions, via the Cardinals' official website. "Do we want to leave him out there one-on-one all day? No. But that's going to happen. He's going to have to win his share of the battles."

In last season's blowout win against the Lions, the Cardinals gave up 121 yards on 10 catches to Johnson, but kept him out of the end zone. Peterson said Thursday the key is negating the big plays, which is what he's been focusing on this offseason.

"That's all I've been thinking about," Peterson said, via "I just want to go out there. I've been preparing well all week. I believe I have a good feeling of what he wants to do."

Johnson said going up against Peterson is like facing a "big receiver" who plays defensive back.

The matchup between Peterson and Johnson could dictate the flow of the game. Johnson was slowed in last week's win against the Minnesota Vikings (four catches for 37 yards), but Reggie Bush exploded, given the space provided by all the attention to Megatron.

Johnson said he expects a lot of man-to-man coverage from Peterson -- we do as well -- while Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles downplayed how much he'll leave Peterson on an island. After Bush's performance last week, it won't be a shock to see the Cardinals take some chances and trust their corner to at least slow Megatron down himself.

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