Eagles Breakdown: Darius Slay and James Bradberry have proven to be the best CB duo in the NFL
The Philadelphia Eagles have the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. When was the last time any of us could say that?
We’re two weeks into the 2022 NFL season and it’s already become abundantly clear that Darius Slay and James Bradberry are the standard for CB duos in this league.
Quarterbacks have targeted Slay and Bradberry a combined 28 times and have only managed eight completions, which averages out to a 28.57 completion percentage. The duo has surrendered one touchdown while snagging three interceptions and scoring a touchdown of their own.
To top things off, both Slay and Bradberry rank inside the top-five in passer rating allowed. Slay sits at 25.2, while Bradberry has allowed just a 7.0 passer rating when targeted.
Slay, individually, has been on a complete tear since the season began.
He’s the highest-graded CB as an overall defender and in coverage, per Pro Football Focus. If Slay’s 84.8 defensive mark remains there for the rest of the season, it’ll be the best overall grade he’s ever posted in a single season. The same can be said for his 86.9 coverage grade.
Slay’s performance against Justin Jefferson in Week 2 may have been the best single-game performance of his 10-year career. On six targets, Big Play Slay allowed just one reception for seven yards while snagging two INTs, en route to earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
He became just the third player in Eagles history to record five pass defensed and two interceptions in a contest, joining Lito Sheppard and Troy Vincent.
Although Bradberry’s overall PFF grade isn’t as spectacular as Slay’s, it’s mostly due to his lackluster tackling ability. His 71.3 coverage grade still ranks inside the top-20 at his position.
Per PFF, the Eagles are the only team in the NFL with two starting corners with a top-20 coverage grade.
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Where does this Eagles CB duo go from here?
Based on nearly every metric, Slay and Bradberry have proven their worth thus far. But as we all know, the NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.
The tandem has already passed their biggest test of the season in Justin Jefferson, but they’re not out of the woods yet.
Their next opponent, the Washington Commanders, have a bevy of receiving weapons. Terry McLaurin, specifically, has roasted he Eagles throughout his young career, averaging approximately five receptions for 78 yards in his six games against Philly.
Following the Eagles Week 3 matchup in Washington, Slay and Bradberry will face seven of the top-20 highest-graded receivers, per PFF.
Here’s a look at the highest-graded WRs the Eagles will face this season:
|Player||Team||PFF Grade||Positional Ranking|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||Colts||77.5||T-15th|
Slay and Bradberry will have their work cut out for them moving forward.
Nevertheless, there’s no reason to have many concerns about the duo entering any of these matchups. If they could shut down Jefferson, they can shut down any of the wideouts listed above.