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Former Cardinals Patrick Peterson, Jordan Hicks have last laugh in Vikings’ victory

Both defensive players receive game balls after Minnesota's 34-26 win.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson deflects a pass to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver A.J. Green in Minnesota's 34-26 win on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. Peterson was a standout player for the Cardinals before joining the Vikings several years ago.
Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Revenge Bowl I didn’t turn out too well for Patrick Peterson. But Revenge Bowl II went just fine.

The veteran cornerback played for the Arizona Cardinals from 2011-20 before they decided not to re-sign him, and he joined the Vikings in March 2021. But in Week 2 last season, Minnesota lost 34-33 at Arizona.

The teams met again Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, and Peterson came up big. He broke up three passes in the Vikings’ 34-26 victory.

“I’ve been told a lot of things,” Peterson, 32, said of moving on from the Cardinals. “That I can’t tackle. That I’m old. I’ve lost it. So I wanted to show them.”

Peterson wasn’t the only former Arizona player to get a taste of revenge Sunday. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said both Peterson and linebacker Jordan Hicks, who played with the Cardinals the past three seasons, got game balls.

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Hicks, who joined the Vikings after not being re-signed by Arizona, had six tackles, including the biggest one of the game. With the Vikings leading 34-26 and 2:39 remaining, he stopped Eno Benjamin inches short of a first down after a catch at the Minnesota 41 on fourth-and-4.

“Very special,” Hicks said of the win.

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks joined the Vikings this season after spending the past three years with Arizona. Against the Cardinals on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, Hicks had six tackles, including a key fourth-down stop late in the game.
Peter van den Berg / USA Today Sports

It was for Peterson, too. He made eight Pro Bowls playing for the Cardinals, and he said he’s still miffed he has not heard anything from Arizona general manager Steve Keim since his departure.

“I’m still waiting on Steve Keim to call me,” he said. “Still haven’t talked to him.”

Peterson said that during his final season with the Cardinals in 2020 there was a fan who had written that he emailed Cardinals ownership to criticize Peterson’s play. He said copies of such emails would end up on his chair in the locker room.

“(The fan) said as long as I was on the team, they weren’t going to be a season-ticket holder anymore,” Peterson said.

So what would Peterson say to that fan now?

“You see me?” Peterson said.

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Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray challenged Peterson during the game, throwing passes his way with little success. The cornerback also had four tackles.

“I still got it,” Peterson said. “All I heard the last two years was,’ He’s washed up. He’s done.’ I know that we still got a second half of the season going, but I’m just getting started. I’m in my zone. … I promise you this, if I get challenged, I will show up on the stat sheet.”

Peterson said one reason he believes he hasn’t made the Pro Bowl since 2018 is that teams aren’t targeting him because of his reputation.

On Sunday, Peterson did his share of going back and forth with former teammates. And so did Hicks.

“That’s a jawing team,” Hicks said. “That’s what they do. So match their energy.”

Hicks got the last laugh with the big stop on Benjamin.

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“I felt like I knew what was coming and just jumped in and played it,” Hicks said. “I read my keys, and so it’s fun to have that type of moment. … More film study. But I’ve been going against this offense over and over.”

Hicks said he “would much rather be on this team” than the Cardinals.

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O’Connell said he knew going into Sunday that the game “meant a lot” for both Peterson and Hicks.

“I could feel it from both those guys,” O’Connell said. “It got a little chippy out there at times with their side and ours. … Patrick Peterson is one of our captains. Jordan Hicks is a former captain of that football team. … I think it meant a lot for him to play well. He did. Made that great tackle on fourth down. Patrick P. continues to show up. Proud of those guys.”

It was no surprise that both Peterson and Hicks were smiling after Sunday’s game.

“It was big for both of us to have made plays in this game,” Peterson said.

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