When the Arizona Cardinals come visiting the Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday they will be bringing a strong LSU presence with them. The Cardinals roster boasts three former Tigers defensive standouts in cornerback Patrick Peterson, safety Tyrann Mathieu and linebacker Kevin Minter.
Peterson, now in his third year, is the most heralded of the three and is one of the few NFL players that is actually living up to his high draft status as the 5th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. In addition to proving himself as one of the top skilled young corners in the league, Peterson also gives the Cardinals a dangerous weapon in the return game and is now also seeing some limited action at wide receiver.
While Peterson deserves credit for living up to expectations early in his NFL career, come Sunday he will likely be lined up against someone that comes from a much more humble football background yet has exceedingly surpassed expectations in Saints wide receiver Marques Colston. The 2006 7th round pick out of Hofstra, has been Drew Brees' most consistent target since becoming a Saint. Colston also recently added to his achievements when he broke the franchise's career receptions list in the opening win against the Atlanta Falcons with a 25 yard touchdown catch.
Despite the Saints' 2-0 start, the high powered offense seems to lack the explosiveness that their track record indicates they are capable of producing. Colston's statistics so far reflect that in that they don't dazzle you with 9 receptions for 131 yards. More importantly though, they have been clutch catches as his touchdown grab against the Falcons came on 3rd down, and his 31-yard catch in the final minute against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers set up Garrett Hartley's game-winning field goal.
Will we see another clutch catch or standout performance by Colston on Sunday going against Peterson? Or will it be more likely that the Saints will dominate more weaker positions against the Cardinals to raise their record to 3-0?