You have officially been warned. Darius Slay is just as dominant as he has always been, and he’ll prove that in Week 17. When the Philadelphia Eagles traded a third-round and a fifth-round draft selection to the Detroit Lions in exchange for the former All-Pro’s services, they had officially landed one of the NFL’s premier cornerbacks. Since his arrival, all he has done is prove that over and over again.
Now in his tenth season as a professional, he continues to impress. He has compiled seven interceptions in midnight green, three so far in 2022. He has also been on the field for at least 90 percent of the defensive snaps during ten of the first 15 games in 2022.
Slay celebrates his 32nd birthday this Sunday on New Year’s Day, and there would be no better way for the defensive captain to celebrate than by leading the Birds to a victory over the New Orleans Saints and clinching the NFC’s top seed in the process. Luckily for the Eagles, history suggests Big Play Slay will live up to his moniker in Week 17.
Wins versus the Saints are a common occurrence when Darius Slay is on the opposing sideline.
Darius Slay is no stranger to success or winning when the New Orleans Saints are the opponent. He’s been on the winning side in five of six meetings during his career. Two of his 26 career interceptions have come in games versus the Saints. One of them resulted in a trip to the end zone as recently as 2021. It was the second pick-six of Slay’s career.
The Saints are starting quarterback Andy Dalton in Week 17. He has fallen victim to Slay’s ball-hawking ability before as he gift-wrapped one as the Dallas Cowboys starter in 2020.
Dalton has already thrown eight interceptions this season. The Saints are also dealing with injuries, including one to former two-time All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas. He was placed on injured reserve back in November. Rookie phenom wideout Chris Olave is also questionable with a hamstring injury. He missed Week 16’s game for New Orleans.
If the Saints enter Lincoln Financial Field light on offensive weapons, Darius Slay won’t be challenged much by New Orleans reserves, and you can take that to the bank. The Saints’ offense is averaging 223.1 pass yards per game.
There is no place like Philadelphia for Darius Slay
Have you noticed? Darius Slay plays noticeably better in the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field. All three of his interceptions in 2022 have come at home in Philadelphia. He has also defended another ten. If you’re looking for a comparison, he only has three pass breakups on the road.
Darius Slay already earned one Defensive Player of the Week honor thus far in 2022. He notched that one after holding Justin Jefferson, who is averaging 8.2 catches and 117.1 receiving yards per game this year, to just 48 yards on six catches. Slay also intercepted Kirk Cousins twice in that one, making it his fourth career game in which he has tallied multiple interceptions.
Sunday will be only the second time that Darius Slay has played an NFL game on his birthday. It’s the first time he will do so in an Eagles uniform. The stars appear to be aligned in Week 17 for the 2022 Pro Bowl defender to not only showcase not only why he is a Pro Bowler but also why he is one of the top cornerbacks in all of the NFL.