Cardinals’ Peterson: Newton ‘the most dangerous’ player in NFL

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton breezed past the Arizona Cardinals in late January.

Patrick Peterson is well aware of the challenge the Denver Broncos will be up against in Super Bowl 50.

The Arizona Cardinals‘ all-pro cornerback was a key cog of the defence that got thrashed in a 49–15 loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship and he expanded on the difficulty of defending multi-dimensional quarterback Cam Newton in a guest appearance on Brady and Walker Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s very very tough to game-plan against Cam Newton,” Peterson said on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “We knew he could beat us with his legs. We knew (in the past) we had to stop him from running the ball. You have to stop the read-option. Now that he has evolved into a premier passer in this league, oh my god, the guy is dangerous.

“He’s by far the most dangerous offensive player in the league because he can now run with the football. And now he can make those precise passes and put the ball wherever he wants. For him to be able to do that, that’s scary.”

Newton, expected to be named NFL MVP on Saturday night, passed for 335 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 47 yards on 10 attempts with a touchdown in the win over Arizona.

“They played with more energy,” he explained. “They played with more passion. There seemed to be more urgency because they came out with the fire that we needed to have and that catapulted them to a (big) lead. It’s tough for any team to dig out of that.”

Peterson, who recorded the Cardinals’ only interception in his lone matchup against Newton in 2015, said the Broncos’ defenders have to stick to their principles in order to slow down Carolina’s six-foot-five, 245-lb. quarterback.

“Don’t try and change anything,” he said. “Don’t try to overthink. It’s going to be tough to stop him. All you can do is go out there and contain him because he’s very tough to go out and completely try to shut down.”

Otherwise, Peterson offered extreme praise for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, the future Hall of Famer who could be playing in the final game of his illustrious NFL career.

“[He] is [like] an offensive coordinator and a head coach on the field,” Peterson said. “I want to thank him [for] what he’s meant to the game and [how] he was able to change the quarterback position. I’m a young guy. I’ve never seen anything like that.”