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Eagles CB Darius Slay takes ownership of DK Metcalf's big day

Tom Rimback
Cherry Hill Courier-Post
Seattle's DK Metcalf catches a pass against Philadelphia's Darius Slay during the first half Monday in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Darius Slay came to Philadelphia to be one of the best cornerbacks in the National Football League. On Monday night, he didn't live up to that standard.

And he'll be the first to tell you.

“I lost every 50-50 ball today," Slay said. "I’m usually on the other side of that. Today, I was on the other side of that. I told the defense that I let the team down. That game was on me. I have to play better. Props to DK for giving me the good work. We competed every play but I lost every 50-50 ball. I have to work to get better."  

Metcalf was targeted 13 times. He caught 10 passes for 177 yards. The Seahawks only had 301 yards total. Roughly 60 percent of that total came from Metcalf. But don't be fooled into thinking Slay is the reason the Eagles lost 23-17.

“We talk about ownership,” Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said. “I know Slay wished he could have a couple plays back. We all wish we could have a couple of plays back.

"I know that Slay — he a dog — he’s going to go. He’s got that next-play mentality. He’s a fighter. I’m riding with him every time. DK did make some good plays but, at the end of the day, we’ve all got some part in this thing."

Slay certainly had a part. No doubt about it. He also had the toughest job on the field.  

“D. Slay matched up with him all night long,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “He battled and made some plays and DK made some plays. I thought overall he did some good things. He played tough. That’s a tough receiver to defend.”  

At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds with 4.33 speed. Metcalf is four inches taller, a lot heavier and just as fast if not faster than Slay. None of that mattered to Slay. Just the results. 

Seattle's DK Metcalf catches a pass against Philadelphia's Darius Slay during the second half Monday in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

“I’m a man about what I do," Slay said. "I’m always feeling great. I’m not in a bad mood or a bad spirit. I understand. I take ownership. I know that I can change the game. I know I could have helped. I put that game on me because I’m supposed to do my job and shut him down."

The rest of the Eagles defense more than took up the slack. Had the team been able to manage any kind of offense in response, Metcalf's day would have been just a footnote. 

Even then, without Slay, it could have been, would have been, worse. 

"He was making every catch," Slay said. "That’s why he didn’t have any YAC, yards after catch, because I was right there. He made more plays than I did. I am going to take ownership because I feel like I'm one of the best in the game."

After the game Metcalf relayed a conversation he had with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who coached Lions great Calvin Johnson in Detroit. Schwartz apparently told Metcalf that he wasn't at Megatron's level quite yet.

Early in the game, Slay and Metcalf tangled with Slay earning a personal foul. Later, Malik Jackson drew another flag with a cheap shot on Metcalf after the play.

Those tactics didn't slow Metcalf any.  

“You gotta try to do something,” Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said. “You can’t get into his head. He’s hard to cover. In my opinion, he’s unmatchable."

The only thing that might have worked was giving Slay some help. That's not what Slay came to Philly for. 

As if there's any chance Slay would think to ask.

“Hell no, I don’t need no help," Slay said. "What kind of question is that? Next question." 

Seattle's DK Metcalf tries to get past Philadelphia's Darius Slay during the first half Monday in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Contact Tom Rimback at trimback@thebct.com. Follow on twitter @RimbackBCT