Darius Slay has been a model of consistency at the cornerback position since becoming a full-time starter his second season in the league in 2014.
Since entering the NFL in 2013, no player has defended more passes than Slay. He's recorded 86 of them over that span, which is more than Robert Alford (82) and Brent Grimes (81) over that period. Slay recorded three in Detroit's 17-3 win over Arizona Sunday, a game in which he also recorded a pick-six. No player has recorded more games with at least three passes defended (11) since 2013 than Slay.
He has at least two interceptions in five straight seasons. That might not seem like a lot, but he's the first Lions cornerback to do it since Bruce McNorton from 1983-87.
Slay's 11 interceptions over the past two seasons are tied for the most by a cornerback. He's currently sixth in franchise history with 17 interceptions, passing Ray Crockett on Sunday. Slay's performance vs. the Cardinals also earned him NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Since the start of the 2014 season, Slay's received a positive grade from Pro Football Focus in every season. Three times over that stretch he finished the season among the top 15 players at the position (2015-17) and twice in the top eight (2015 & 2017).
At age 27, Slay is in his prime and under contract through 2020, which has to be a good feeling for the Lions knowing they have one of the consistently top cornerbacks in the league playing for them for the foreseeable future.
"To have a guy like that where everybody has so much confidence in him and he's making plays," Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni said. "It helps the defense, but I think it helps the whole team. I just think it helps the whole operation. It really does."
Pro Football Focus Week 14 stats:
Top 3 graded players on offense by Pro Football Focus vs. Arizona (at least 10 snaps):
- QB Matthew Stafford (76.9)
- RB Zach Zenner (69.8)
- C Graham Glasgow (69.1)
Bottom 3 graded players on offense by Pro Football Focus vs. Arizona (at least 10 snaps):
- RB LeGarrette Blount (41.9)
- WR Kenny Golladay (50.3)
- WR TJ Jones (51.6)
Top 3 graded players on defense by Pro Football Focus vs. Arizona (at least 10 snaps):
- CB Marcus Cooper Sr. (94.6)
- CB Darius Slay (92.5)
- DT Damon Harrison (81.3)
Bottom 3 graded players on defense by Pro Football Focus vs. Arizona (at least 10 snaps):
- CB Mike Ford (42.7)
- LB Kelvin Sheppard (55.8)
- DT A'Shawn Robinson (57.8)
Here are some other statistics, both good and bad, for the Lions after 14 weeks of football:
- The Lions rank 24th in total offense and 12th in total defense.
- Linebacker Jarrad Davis is one of only three players (Jayon Brown, TEN & Darius Leonard, IND) in the NFL with 75-plus tackles and five-plus sacks.
- Detroit's linebackers have combined for 16.0 sacks this year, the most in franchise history since 1993 (21.0).
- Quarterback Matthew Stafford's passer rating in the red zone is just 73.2, which ranks 29th.
- Kicker Matt Prater reached 537 points in his Lions career Sunday, passing Doak Walker (534) for the fifth-most points scored in franchise history.
- Detroit's allowed the fourth fewest yards after catch (1,327) this season. PFF grades Detroit as the fourth best tackling defense in the NFL.