The Cleveland Browns challenged Lions No. 1 cornerback Darius Slay 11 times in Sunday's 38-24 Lions win.
Brown receivers caught six of those 11 targets, but for just 42 total yards and no touchdowns. Slay defended a pass and clinched the Lions victory with an interception late in the fourth quarter in the end zone.
Browns quarterbacks had a 25.6 passer rating when throwing Slay's way.
The Browns found out Sunday what the rest of the league is quickly learning: Darius Slay is pretty darn good.
In nine games this season, Slay's given up a grand total of 348 receiving yards and three touchdowns when teams target him. He has four interceptions, has defended 13 passes, and quarterbacks have a combined passer rating of 63.4 when throwing his way.
Slay's given up more than 70 yards receiving just once this season, a Week 5 loss in Carolina when he gave up 71 yards. He's held opponents under 50 yards receiving to his coverage in seven of nine games this season.
It should be noted that he's matched up and traveled with with Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and Jordy Nelson this season.
"I just think he continues to get better every single week," Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said Monday of Slay. "He just works. He loves to work. He loves to practice. He loves the game. He's got unbelievable competitiveness and that's always on his mind, regardless of what he's doing.
"I think with that kind of attitude, and he's got physical tools, he just keeps getting better."
Here's a look at some other key stats – good and bad – after 10 weeks of football:
- Which Lions players rank in the top 10 at their position by Pro Football Focus?
- Jamal Agnew second among kick returners.
- Glover Quin third among safeties.
- Golden Tate fifth among receivers.
- Darius Slay seventh among cornerbacks.
- Tahir Whitehead eighth among 4-3 outside linebackers.
- T.J. Lang ninth among guards.
- Rick Wagner 10th among tackles. By catching six passes vs. Cleveland, Golden Tate has now recorded 336 receptions since joining the Lions in 2014, which ties Hall of Fame TE Charlies Sanders (336, 1968-77) for sixth on the team's all-time receptions list. Tate was the fastest in team history to 300 catches.
- The Lions have scored 71 takeaway points on 18 total takeaways, which are the third most in the NFL behind the Los Angeles Rams (84) and Jacksonville (80).
- Matthew Stafford's 29-yard touchdown to go up 31-24 with 10:46 in the fourth quarter was Stafford's 30th career game-winning drive when trailing or tied in the fourth quarter or overtime. He joins Matt Ryan (32) as the only players since the 1970 NFL Merger to record 30-plus game-winning drives in their first nine NFL seasons, per Elias Sports Bureau.
- The Lions have given up 30 sacks in nine games, tied with Green Bay for the 27th most in the NFL.
- Glover Quin started his 125th straight game Sunday. He currently holds the longest active streak of consecutive starts among safeties, and is second among all defensive backs.
- The Lions have the sixth most yards after the catch (1,059) in the NFL, but their defense has given up 1,089 YAC yards, the fourth most in the league.
- Stafford's passer rating on attempts that travel at least 21-plus yards in the air (124.1), is the fifth best mark in the league.