The play that beats Peterson’s 99

Posted by Darren Urban on November 7, 2011 – 2:34 pm

The Patrick Peterson punt return was amazing. He has two game-winning punt returns this season, when the Cards’ last game-winning punt return was back in 1980 by Roy Green (against the Lions 12/7/80). Now he has three punt returns for touchdowns. Heck, before this season, the Cardinals had just two punt returns for touchdowns the entire time they had been in Arizona. Steve Breaston against the Steelers in 2007, and Johnny Bailey against the Redskins in 1993.

What would have been nice is if Peterson had set the record for longest punt return in NFL history. When I heard it was 99 yards, I immediately thought he had — after all, if a punt goes in the end zone, the play is dead right?

Well, a player can still catch the ball clean in the end zone and bring it out, so in theory, Peterson could add another 10 yards to his high-water mark (although my guess is, as much as you are stepping over the line to field a ball inside the 10, you’d really be doing it that deep in the end zone). If the ball bounces in the end zone, it’d be a dead ball. But that rule wasn’t in play in 1994, when Robert Bailey of the Rams returned a punt 103 yards for a score for the NFL mark.

But when you watch the video, it certainly doesn’t have any of the panache of Peterson’s runback. Bailey’s record-setter was all about being aware when the rest of the players weren’t. Bailey’s return started when the ball bounced into the end zone a couple of times and looked like it was headed out of bounds. Both teams started walking off the field. Most of the Saints — the game was in New Orleans — have their back to the play when Bailey scoops up the ball and races for a touchdown.

(Interesting side note: Cards quarterback coach Chris Miller was the Rams QB that day. Had no recollection of it at first until his memory is jogged.)

Everybody is fooled. Even the clock is stopped and the play-by-play guy calls it a touchback.

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Posted in Blog | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “The play that beats Peterson’s 99”

  1. By Steve Nealy on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    I love Jim Mors’s reaction at the 0:57 mark… “Damn.”

  2. By Zachary Pennington on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Sounds like Joe Buck to me.

  3. By Bill on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Pat Pete should get the record, there was obviously off-setting penalties on both teams for sideline violations or 12 (23? who knows how many as the O & D came onto the field) men or something!

  4. By jocards on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Patrick Peterson certainly has some serious game. Fielding a punt inside the 5 yard line is generally not a good idea but the guy is one of the few on this team that is a playmaker. I can’t imagine that opposing teams are going to kick the ball to him any longer. I firmly believe he will develop into a good corner in time and have seen improvement as the season has moved along. I know that rookie corners have to pay their dues and all that but to me the officials have been awfully quick to flag the guy in coverage…with some questionable and costly penalties. Pass interference is one of the most arbitrary and infuriating penalties to endure. Every time the receiver doesn’t make the catch they are screaming for a flag and often get it. IMO the league needs to address this issue because those calls can cost a team the game.

  5. By D on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    C. Campbell added a few dollars to his future contract yesterday-hopefully AZ is the one who signs him

  6. By Phoenixraven1 on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Mora’s face Is classic! Who ‘dat! Wha’da! Lmao!!!

  7. By cheesebeef on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    is the team actively engaged on contract extension negotiations with Calais Campbell? If not, with 7 million bucks under the cap, can you surmise a reason why?


  8. By Darren Urban on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Cheese –

    RE: Campbell deal

    I was told a while ago that was something they wanted to do at some point later in the season. I have not heard anything since then, but to be honest, I haven’t asked lately.

  9. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    And the late Johnny Bailey was also on that team, 2 years removed from returning a punt to the house for the Cards.

  10. By Mr.Dibbs on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Any news if the Cardinals plan on resigning Calais?

  11. By Brian on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    That’s interesting you put that up Darren. But wouldn’t there be flags thrown for interfering with the play? Some Rams walked onto the field…

  12. By Darren Urban on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Brian —

    RE: 103 yard return

    Apparently it was admitted later the officials made a mistake but not throwing flags because of all the extra players on the field. But you can’t go back and change it.

  13. By Wampag on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    amazing D I was sick on my couch not in any of my gear…did have the CARDS snuggy though and I saw st louis driving and set up the FG and I thought if the CARDS can block this it could be the moment we look at that turns the season arounbd…then they block the FG…then they stop the offense..then PP dioes his thing and now they come to a Philly team that just lost to the bears..oh man remember dinner on me if you have time when your out here GO CARDS

  14. By John S on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    My reaction after the game Sunday was why on earth doesn’t Whiz get a little creative and put Peterson on a few offensive plays here and there. Imagine what the guy could do with just a simple screen pass option if given the opportunity.

  15. By Darren Urban on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    John S —

    RE: PP on offense

    Again, they had a play for Peterson and he was on the field on offense. But someone messed up and they had to call time out before the ball was snapped.

  16. By nodavis2000 on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply


    Don’t be ridiculous. You want the refs to PUNISH the player and team because other people were unaware that the play was still live!?!?!?

    If I recall the rules correctly, if the defense have 12 players on the field, the offense can still run the play and then decide whether or not to accept the penalty. If the offense has 12, then the play is called dead and the penalty accessed.

    Bottom line, this record belongs to Robert Bailey because no flags were thrown and it was a legit call.

    Go PP21!!! You have it in you to beat Hester’s new record of Punt Returns!!! (I think it’s 14…)

  17. By cheesebeef on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply


    why wait until later in the season? if he’s a core player (and he has been), why wait for him to possibly play really well and thus increase the size of his deal? why not be proactive and just get the thing done?


  18. By Darren Urban on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    cheese —

    RE: Campbell

    You make reasonable points. I’m not the one doing this — just passing on what I know. There is also the possibility they are talking and I don’t know — I haven’t asked in a number of weeks.

  19. By Gilbert Card on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Would love to see a wildcat play run by PP!

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