Darius Slay is known for his ability to make big plays. That’s why the Philadelphia Eagles acquired Slay in a trade with the Detroit Lions last year.
He played a key role in the Eagles 21-18 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Slay, a 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback, intercepted two passes from Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold to go along with three tackles, one tackle for loss and two passes defended.
Slay became the first Eagle to grabbed two interceptions in a single game since linebacker Jordan Hicks on Jan. 1, 2017 against the Dallas Cowboys. He also became the first Eagles’ cornerback to record this achievement since Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked two interceptions on Sept. 9, 2012.
Slay’s defensive prowess will be needed on Thursday night, Oct. 14 when the Eagles (2-3) face the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1) at Lincoln Financial Field. The kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. on Fox 29.
The Eagles defense will be tested against Pro Bowl quarterback Tom Brady and wide receivers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. Brady, 44, has been playing lights out in his 22nd season in the NFL. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder, has thrown for 1,767 yards with 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He’s completing 65.4 percent of his passes.
His top receiver is Evans who has 29 receptions for 393 yards and four TDs. He’s averaging 13.6 yards a catch. Evans is a big receiver with good speed. At 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds, he could be a matchup problem for the Eagles’ secondary.
Tampa Bay has received some good production from the team’s other pass catchers. Godwin has 29 catches for 366 yards and two TDs. He’s averaging 12.6 yards a reception.
Brown has 20 receptions for 325 yards and three TDs. He’s tallying an impressive 16.3 yards a catch. Brown is capable of stretching the defense with his speed.
Slay will have to guard one of these receivers. Each one brings something different to the table. The Eagles defensive line with defensive tackles Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox really got after Darnold in Sunday’s win. Hargrave has six sacks this season.
A good pass rush could be helpful to Slay and the other defenders in the team’s secondary. The Eagles nine-year veteran showed the fans why he’s a three-time Pro Bowl selection against the Panthers. The team could use another big performance from him on Thursday night.