These tough matchups on 2024 Eagles schedule will test Darius Slay's elite CB status

Darius Slay is good. Damn good... This season will tell us a lot about how much he has in the tank.
Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles
Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

They say the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror for a reason. We were always supposed to pay more attention to what's coming than what has already happened. From a figurative sense, we get it. That's a life lesson. Sports work a tad differently though. Sometimes, when things settle and are quiet, it's fun to think about the good old days as a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Here's good news if you're searching for some. Life as a Birds fan hasn't been all that bad, and it feels like great days are ahead. This is a talented roster with stars at every position, Darius Slay included.

'Big Play Slay' enters his fifth year in Eagles green. The past three have resulted in Pro Bowl appearances. There's just one thing that we have to mention. He'll turn 34 years old on New Year's Day.

The 30-year-old threshold is often when we send guys out to pasture. Slay isn't just any guy though. He's shown minimal signs of decline.

The coming season will tell us much about where he is and how much he has left. The savvy veteran has always beaten the odds. This season he'll be asked to do so again, but he'll be tested.

We're about to learn a lot about how much Darius Slay still has left in the tank. The 2024 Eagles schedule is loaded with elite WR competition.

Philly's march back to the postseason won't be an easy one. The coming campaign is loaded with opposing offenses who are sure to bring the thunder and lightning and defenses that at times can be smothering.

Many games will come down to individual matchups. Slay will earn his money this season. There are some elite opposing wideouts on the Eagles' schedule.

If allowed by new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to play man coverage against them (which is a very real possibility), the following matchups will provide must-see television.

Here they are in no particular order.

Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

Watching Terry Mclaurin as a member of the Washington Commanders is like buying a Ferrari while knowing you only intend to push it to 35 miles per hour. No, it's worse than that. It's like purchasing a brand new 80-inch LED TV knowing full well you only intend to watch basic cable.

No Eagles fan needs to be reminded of how good this guy is. Truthfully, we wish he would leave the division. In ten career games versus our Birds, his Commanders have only beaten Philly three times, but that isn't McLaurin's fault.

Just last season alone, in two games, he hauled in 13 receptions for 149 yards, and he scored a TD. He even dove on a loose ball in Week 4 to score another.

Think of him as one of the best players on what has been a bad football team. Washington could sneak up on a few of their opponents, but Mclaurin isn't sneaking up on anyone. We already know how good he is.

Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

This is the first time Ja'Marr Chase will play the Eagles in his young NFL career. Philly gets the young star and one of the game's top young quarterbacks, Joe Burrow, in Week 8.

This one's being billed as one of the best matchups of the season, and with all of the firepower these two rosters have this could easily unfold as a shootout.

Slay had better have a good night's sleep on the eve of this one. Burrow and Chase can light it up in a hurry.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Simply put, Slay wasn't present for every instance in which Mike Evans torched Philly, but he was certainly present for the two recent postseason debacles in January of 2022 and 2024.

Slay also wasn't covering Evans every time the ball came his way. He was however one of the most important players on a secondary that watched the five-time Pro Bowler rack up a combined 12 catches for 165 yards and a TD reception in those games.

In total, Evans has also added 21 receptions for 233 yards and three TDs to his professional resume during four regular-season games versus our Birds. If he wiggles loose in Week 4, it could make for a long afternoon. Let's hope he doesn't because he certainly has the skill to do so.

Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

Chris Olave is certainly destined for a long and productive career. He has already added 159 receptions, 2,165 receiving yards, nine TDs, and a PFWA All-Rookie Team nod to his professional resume. If the Saints ever find a QB, they may see even more production.

Something tells us that Derek Carr and Spencer Rattler aren't the elite quarterbacks of whom we are mentioning, but Carr is better than we give him credit for being. This tandem could cause issue for Philly in Week 3.

Puka Nacua and/or Cooper Kupp, L.A. Rams

You never know what Sean McVay might draw up from one play to the next. Heck, trying to make guesses about an entire game plan can be even more maddening.

Cooper Kupp and Puca Nacua will be used heavily in the Rams' attack when the Birds travel west for a game at SoFi Stadium on November 24th in Week 12. Slay may find himself matched up on one or the other. Heck, he may wind up matching up against both.

This one may also result in a shootout. Like L.A., the Birds can also put up points when the offense gets on track and rolling.

Worth mentioning: CeeDee Lamb

Dallas likes to move CeeDee Lamb all over their formation and for good reason. There are times when it appears he is the lone respectable skill player on the Cowboys' offensive roster.

At some point, he and Slay figure to line up across from each other during Philly's clashes with their longtime hated rivals this season. Lamb torched Philly in 2023 for a combined 17 receptions, 262 yards receiving, and a trip to the end zone. The Birds will need to keep tabs on him at all times.

Worth mentioning: Malik Nabers, New York Giants

After missing out in DeVonta Smith in the 2021 NFL Draft (yes, we take great pleasure in rubbing that in), the New York Giants do themselves a solid by adding Malik Nabers three years later. The G-Men just have one problem. Well... Perhaps they have two.

The first is this. The wide receiver position is one of football's most dependent. To operate at peak level, they need a quarterback to get them the ball.

The second issue with the Giants roster is as follows. They don't have a quarterback that anyone respects. Seriosuly, who's afraid of Daniel Jones?

The former LSU star might be the best wide receiver in this class not named Marvin Harrison Jr. He may cause Philly headaches down the road, but if we're being honest, we don't have any issues with saying we don't fear the Jones/Nabers connection.

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