Cornerbacks have gone to unusual lengths to psyche themselves up before matchups with Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Last season the Packers’ Tramon Williams dubbed himself Optimus Prime which also happens to be the Twitter handle that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman claimed in response to Johnson’s nickname Megatron. “That’s what (safety) Rashad Johnson was calling me last year too” Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said. “But I’m sticking to my own name.” Sherman is clearly an elite cornerback despite his Pro Bowl snub. But given his otherworldly return abilities his Pro Bowl selection on defense last season and his newest job duties on offense Peterson has become a household name. “I just feel Pat is the elite cornerback in the league” said teammate Larry Fitzgerald who faces Peterson daily in practice. “He’s taken that next step mentally and there’s nothing he can’t do physically so you add the two of those together and you have a deadly deadly combination.” Peterson will need his entire toolbox this Sunday when the Lions come to University of Phoenix Stadium. Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season record for receiving yards last season with 1964. In 93 career games he has 7873 yards and needs just 123 more on Sunday to tie Rice (94 games) for the third-fewest games required to reach 8000 career yards. At 6-foot-5 236 pounds Johnson is a matchup nightmare because he still has good speed and great hands he runs precise routes and he’s difficult to separate from the ball. "Obviously Calvin Johnson is a freak of nature as far as size speed and strength that goes into a wide receiver in a probably defensive end body” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. Peterson faced Johnson last season when the Cardinals beat the Lions 38-10 to snap a nine-game losing streak. Johnson had 10 catches (17 targets) in that game for 121 yards but he didn’t find the end zone.
Cardinals' Peterson ready for Megatron challenge
Fox Sports Arizona | Sep 13