PHILADELPHIA – It wasn’t until his fourth season in the league that Darius Slay picked up his first NFC Defensive Player of the Week award.
Since earning that honor in Week 5 of the 2016 season, Slay has picked up four more.
His fifth came on Wednesday after a shutdown outing against Justin Jefferson, one of the best receivers in the game, with two interceptions, including one in the end zone and the other at the goal line, and a career-high five pass breakups.
“I just executed, played ball, played physical, just got the job done,” he said in the locker room on Wednesday afternoon. “I know he’s an explosive guy, one of the best in the game so my object was, 'Hey, Slay, you’re one of the best, too, eliminate all the explosive plays, make him earn every play’ and that’s what I did.”
Slay wasn’t surprised Kirk Cousins kept throwing his way.
“His best guy is over there,” he said, referring to Jefferson. “He feels his guy is better than me, so hey if I was a quarterback and I felt my guy was better than you I’d throw it over there 50,000 times, too.”
Slay, now in his 10th season, couldn’t remember what he did each of the previous times he won the award, but he remembered having two interceptions in Week 15 of the 2017 season and a pick-6 against Arizona in Week 14. Those came with the Lions.
For the record, he won it in Week 5 of 2016, Week 15 in 2017, Week 14 of 2018, Week 10 last year, and now Week 2 of 2022.
“It’s always good,” he said. “It’s great. It’s hard to be the defensive player of the week, a lot of great DBs, a lot of great ball being played…a lot of guys could’ve won it, man. For me to win it is always a pleasure, always thankful and I appreciate that. I went out there and worked pretty hard for that.”
Last year he won it by having an 83-yard fumble return and five tackles in a win over the Denver Broncos.
He may have difficulty forgetting how he won No. 5 because it came with a career-high five pass breakups.
“I went kind of stupid crazy,” he said about five PBUs. “I don’t have any techniques for going to the ball. If I see ball, I try to get ball, You know? I want the rock because the rock gets you a lot of money.”
He is the first Eagles defensive back to win a Defensive Player of the Week award in consecutive seasons since Malcolm Jenkins (Week 13, 2015 and Week 16, 2016).
Quarterback Jalen Hurts’ Twitter account posted a postgame comment that said, “Hurts, Don’t It?”
Asked about it on Wednesday, he said: “I don’t run my Twitter.”
ON DEVONTA SMITH
Hurts talked about his relationship with his former Alabama teammate, DeVonta Smith, and what drew the two together.
“I always kind of draw to a guy that’s willing to put the work in because I know I’m going to put the work in,” the QB said. “I was able to build a relationship with DeVonta just because he was willing to work. I always tell the story about how we didn’t like to party too much or do too much.
“We’d hang out with our friends and do things like that. But we were about the grind. Just being able to do that – Minkah Fitzpatrick being one of them, DeVonta being one of them – it was just about the work. So we were able to build a great relationship just through our work ethic, and that tracked ourselves back here to Philly.”
- After two weeks, the Eagles have scored 62 points, which is tied for the fourth most in the NFL. The Bills lead the way with 72 followed by the Lions and Chiefs with 71. The Eagles are tied with the Ravens.
- Defensively, the 42 points the Eagles have allowed is the 14th most, which, considering the 35-spot the Lions hung on them in Week 1, isn’t terrible. The Commanders have scored 55 and allowed 58.
- The Eagles have the league’s top-ranked offense. They are first in rushing and second in passing. Washington has the third-ranked offense and is ranked first in passing and 14th in rushing.
- Philly is ranked fourth in takeaways/giveaways at plus-3. Washington is tied for 26th in the category with one takeaway and four giveaways for a minus-3.
WR Quez Watkins did not practice (illness) on Wednesday while CB Avonte Maddox (back) and LB Haason Reddick (knee) were limited.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.