Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Eagles star Darius Slay delivers the best performance in the world

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Darius Slay was lagging around 7:15 in the fourth quarter when he waved Zech McPhearson down. There was no way the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback came out in a crucial situation. A few seconds later, Slay made a jumping interception in the end zone to return the ball to his offense.

It was Slay’s second choice and slammed the door on every Minnesota comeback attempt. He read Kirk Cousins’ eyes to perfection and finished Justin Jefferson’s route for him. He never thought of sitting on the bench while the game hung in the balance. Slay knew what he had to do. And the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Vikings 24-7.

“I had to wave him off, you know, I’m a tough guy.” Slay told reporters. “I’m not going to put him in that position now. It was a clutch situation, the offensive simply turned the ball around, only the big players rise at moments like this.

Slay rose at every moment during Monday night’s win at Lincoln Financial Field. It stuck to Jefferson like static electricity does to laundry. Cousins ​​was 1 of 5 for 7 yards when Slay was the closest defender. And Slay had more interceptions (2) than receptions allowed (1) on 5 goals for Jefferson.

“I don’t take a matchup lightly,” Slay said. “But he’s one of the best in the world and, shoot, I’m one of the best in the world too, so I was looking forward to the duel.”

Slay was determined celebrates his first interception with a VIP fan in the stands. He ran off the field in the third quarter and handed the football to the Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden. It wasn’t a premeditated move, but one that quickly arose when Slay saw Harden on the jumbotron.

“Well, honestly, I didn’t even know he was in the game until they put him on the jumbotron,” Slay said. “He’s one of my favorite players. So shoot, why not? It’s not every day that I meet Hall of Famer James Harden.”

His second choice — which he snatched from Jefferson out of thin air in the fourth quarter — was reserved for another favorite person in Slay’s life. He was bring this ball Home for his son as a souvenir.

A recent list of the NFL’s top 10 cornerbacks surprisingly omitted Slay’s name. Some had predicted that the Eagles cornerback would come out a little slower in 2022. This is a player on the retreat, isn’t it? No more elite? Stop it.

“I mean, I got a lot of respect [around the league] But you know how it always goes, the older you get, people think you fall off, but I’m not one of them,” Slay said. “I’m still at elite level. I deserve a lot of respect. I think the league respects me enough…it’s just the media.

Slay also rushed to defend Jonathan Gannon, who was criticized after Week 1. He reminded everyone that Gannon doesn’t wear a uniform. The players need to execute what he calls for, which they did on a high level against Minnesota on Monday.

“The first game, that was us. We didn’t do well. We didn’t tackle it well,” Slay said. “It’s not Gannon out there playing. He’s just on the phone. We just have to execute and we’ve been in a lot of great situations where we just didn’t make the game.

“But tonight it was on the other foot. We had an attitude of coming out of here and dominating and playing this game with a lot of effort and a lot of talent and the guys just did their job and we did that. The coach has put us in a great position to win.”

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