On his fifth step, Patrick Peterson lunged forward and extended his left arm, making contact with the football and knocking it from its trajectory toward the uprights.
"I think that's the fourth one in my career now, so just keep it going," Peterson said following Minnesota's Monday Night Football game.
While the Vikings unfortunately weren't able to capitalize on Peterson's blocked field goal against the Eagles, the play highlighted a solid special teams performance on the road.
"I felt like I had a good shot all game on both sides – I feel like I was getting some really good get-offs," Peterson said.
The veteran cornerback was flagged earlier in the game for jumping too early on a Philadelphia extra-point attempt, but he called it a "gauging down," providing a good feel of when the ball was snapped.
"I started to get indications of when the ball was going to get hiked. I got a great jump," Peterson said. "Josh Metellus did a great job of grabbing the arm of that left wing, and I came across the edge very free."
Some 12-year NFL starters – especially those with eight Pro Bowls and three First-Team All-Pro honors to their name – might say they've paid their dues and leave special teams phases to the youngsters.
Not Peterson, though.
The 32-year-old told Twin Cities reporters Thursday he "loves" being involved with special teams.
"[It] shows that your team has attitude; your team has grit," Peterson explained. "Some teams take those parts of the game very lightly, and that part of the game can be a game-changing play. Unfortunately, it wasn't for us at that time, but I can see us flipping the tide the next time that does happen."
Vikings new Special Teams Coordinator Matt Daniels praised Peterson's "B.G.O." – or "ball get-off." Daniels said Vikings special teams assistant Ben Kotwica works especially hard to identify opponents' field goal cadence and how Minnesota can get a jump.
"Metellus did an unbelievable job crashing down on the end, and [combined with] P2's ball get-off, the end wasn't really able to get two hands on him," Daniels detailed. "He did a great job of running a three-step slant off the edge, he did a three-step slant and really jumped off his fifth step. The odd part about it is he ended up blocking it with his inside hand, which lets you know his ball get-off was elite.
"That's very rare for that to happen. Most times than not you end up rolling in the hips and going with your outside arm, because you get more length," Daniels added. "He did such a good job beating him off the edge. That's why it went so forcefully back."
Peterson said it would have been too difficult to get his right arm up the way his body was positioned.
"That would have been a waste of my movement," he said nonchalantly. "But the way I got around the corner, the tackle didn't nudge me or anything – because I was expecting him to – so I could shave the corner, and typically when I shave the corner, I'm already [positioned] this way.
"I had a good gauge at the kicker, and he hadn't even, you know, he was in rhythm to kick the ball, but he was nowhere near the ball [yet]," Peterson added. "So that's when I decided just to go with my inside arm, because I felt that the way my body was, it was easier for me to get the block that way."
View the best photos of Vikings CB Patrick Peterson from the 2021 season.
Peterson had to perfectly time his burst. Taking a sixth step, he noted, wouldn't have given him a chance at the ball.
Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson each shared respect for Peterson's dedication to special teams, as well as lamented the lack of execution on offense following the turnover.
"After I saw the play later that night, I was like, 'Dang, P., OK – you're still blocking field goals!' He was like, 'Man, I've still got it.' It's just good to have him there still competing, just being the veteran that he is," Jefferson said. "That could have shaken up the whole game, going down there and scoring off of that. We've just gotta keep counting on those types of plays and try to score off those types of plays on offense."
Interestingly, Daniels said he almost took Peterson off the field goal block unit prior to the season.
He opted against it, though, upon seeing Peterson's excitement about being involved.
"He came to me and said … 'I've got good first step burst, still, to come off the edge.' And I said, 'You're right. You do,' " Daniels recounted.
"Typically, we like to sub out our starting corners and our starting safeties and put in the backups. That really was going to be [Kris Boyd's] role coming off the edge, but P2 commanded it and said, 'Nah, this is me and I want to do it,' " Daniels continued. "Which is why after he [blocked it Monday], he came and said, 'I told you I've still got it!' "
Add field goal blocking to Peterson's extensive résumé.
And since he appears to do just about everything, should the Vikings try him on punt block?
OK, don't get too far ahead of yourself.
"Oh, nah, nah, nah. We're not putting P2 out there," Daniels laughed. "We've got other designated guys that are good to rush punts."