ATLANTA -- As the second quarter ticked neared its halfway point Sunday afternoon inside the Georgia Dome, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson went from a man at rest on the bench to a man in motion in just about no time.
A few players earlier, he had been flagged for his second pass-interference penalty of the game -- both while he was defending Atlanta Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones -- and Peterson was still stewing. During a break in the action, he quickly jumped off the bench to have a heated discussion with side judge Keith Washington. The interaction lasted a few moments but Peterson said he got his point across.
“‘Just allow us to play football. We two All-Pros. We both play a physical game of football,’” Peterson said was his message. “I just asked the ref to let us play ball. I told him that before the game. It is what it is, but I can get pushed around all over the field and don’t get calls. It is what it is. It was a great game.
“We all know we can’t talk about the refs but it is what it is. Just got to move forward.”
Jones finished the game with four catches for 35 yards. And both of Peterson’s pass-interference penalties came on the Falcons’ first two scoring drives. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Peterson had been flagged just once for pass interference all season up to Sunday.
When initially asked about the penalties, Peterson took a tongue-in-cheek approach.
“I didn’t see a call,” he said.
While answering a question about frustrations watching the Falcons put up 38 points without much help from Jones, Peterson’s secondary cohort, Tyrann Mathieu, shared his perspective on Peterson’s penalties.
“We got a physical cornerback who can’t even play physical,” Mathieu said. “It’s just like flag football out there sometimes. We got to battle through those things and we just go to continue to make plays. I thought we did a good job. I thought Pat did a great job being physical with Julio.”