DETROIT - Paul Stanley couldn’t have written it any better.
The lead singer of Kiss wrote “Detroit Rock City,” in the 1970s with his producer. The sequel came some 45 years later when Avonte Maddox came home to team up with Darius Slay, who considers the Motor City his second home, to rock Ford Field during a 44-6 rout of the Detroit Lions.
The Eagles had the game well in hand, 31-0, when Maddox punched the football away from D’Andre Swift, ironically a Philadelphia native, and Slay, who spent the first seven seasons of his NFL career in Detroit, scooped it and went 33 yards for a touchdown.
“That was pretty nice,” Maddox said “Detroit on Detroit right there. That’s what I called it. That was pretty cool. Punched out the ball and I’m looking for the ball and I just see [No.] 2, Slay, running to the end zone."
It was the topping on the sundae for Maddox and Slay, who were both tabbed by coach Nick Sirianni pre-game as team captains joining Jalen Hurts and Jason Kelce for the coin toss.
“Coach Nick, he called me in and said, ‘You and Slay are going out there,’” Maddox said. “That’s pretty cool. I appreciate him for that. My first time being back at home and my first time playing the Lions. I got the opportunity to walk out for the coin toss."
The score was career TD No. 2 for Slay, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and the younger Maddox had a special favor to ask when he reached the end zone to celebrate.
Playing for the first time as a pro at Ford Field, Maddox wanted to deliver the ball to his father in the stands.
“He’s been there every game since the beginning since I started playing any type of sport,” Maddox said of his father and what it meant to hand him the football. “He pushed me through a lot with it and he was always tough on me with it.
“... I appreciate Slay for that."
Maddox loved Detroit sports growing up and even has a Lions tattoo. The 25-year-old slot corner also secured a host of tickets for current players at Martin Luther King High School, his old stomping grounds.
“He didn’t really get to come out to the away games because he works,” Maddox said of his dad. “ It was pretty cool to get him back at home. It was his first game he came to this year and I got a turnover and Slay was kind enough to give me the ball and I was happy to give him the ball.”
In the final year of his rookie contract, Maddox is having a career year after finally getting to settle down at the position the Eagles envisioned when they took him No. 125 overall out of Pittsburgh in 2018.
Entering Sunday’s game in Detroit, Maddox was graded by ProFootballFocus.com as the 11th best CB in the NFL.
His punch, meanwhile, was reminiscent of Charles Tillman’s “Peanut Punch,” and an aggressive trait that defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon has been preaching since training camp.
“I wasn’t even going for the tackle,” Maddox smiled. “I was going for the punch-out.”
And the punch-out served as the official knockout for a Lions team still looking for its first win.
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.