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Patrick Peterson admits he must play better

Patrick Peterson has not played like the top cornerback in the NFL through five games. Not even close.

Peterson has given up an opposing passer rating of 132.4 when targeted this season (12th highest among all corners) and has allowed four touchdowns in coverage (tied for third-most). Pro Football Focus has him rated as their 77th ranked corner out of a possible 103. Yikes.

The Arizona Cardinals' corner knows he needs to play better.

"It (scrutiny) comes with the territory," he said, per the Arizona Republic, "by being the highest paid cornerback in the league and being recognized as being one of the top cornerbacks. Is that something I might shy away from? Not at all. Is that something I'm scared of? Am I worried about the concerns or the criticism I'm getting so far this season? Not at all because we have 11 more games to go."

The Cardinals rank dead last in passing defense (309 yards per game) despite a big-name secondary highlighted by Peterson and Antonio Cromartie.

Still, the Cardinals sit in first place in the brutal NFC West. If Peterson and Co. pick it up in the secondary to match a very good run defense, Bruce Arians' team will have a shot at knocking off the reigning powers.

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