The NFL All Pro 1st and 2nd teams were announced today, and the Eagles had two players make it. Jason Kelce made the 1st team at Center and Lane Johnson made the 2nd team at RT.
Both of those are incredibly deserving and it's hard to argue with either. Hopefully that is the last step to getting Kelce to the Hall of Fame.
However, my main takeways from the selections as far as the Eagles are concerned was the snub of CB Darius Slay.
Slay was not voted to the first or second team, with Dallas' Trevon Diggs and Los Angeles' Jalen Ramsey headlining. Here is a look at the voting:
Hold on... Slay only received one vote? That can't be right. Let's look at Slay's statistics this season.
His normal box score stats don't jump off the page: Slay had 3 interceptions, 9 pass deflections and 3 touchdowns this season. He also started every game this season at CB1 besides from the meaningless Week 18 contest against Dallas.
But when you look at the more advanced statistics from Pro Football Focus, they tell a different story. Slay gave up 44 receptions(out of 72 targets) for 459 yards this season, with 3 touchdowns sprinkled in there. Slay also allowed the lowest passer rating in single coverage this season, 25.6. Keep in mind this is also all while covering the opposing teams CB1.
Darius Slay was the 4th best rated coverage corner in the NFL this season, again according to PFF. Pretty good.
So now, we can look at the players who finished above Slay in the voting and compare. It's probably best to start with Diggs, who has been talked about the most in comparison.
Trevon Diggs had 11 interceptions and 21 pass deflections this season. He also started every game this season, including the meaningless game against Dallas in Week 18.
However, the advanced stats don't favor Diggs as much. He gave up 55 receptions for 1,016 yards and 5 touchdowns. Yes, the NFL's interception leader gave up 1k yards this season. I've been trying to avoid the whole Diggs conundrum this season, since I didnt feel like it was necessary to hate on a player who is clearly having a good season. You don't just luck into interceptions, and that takes skill being a ballhawk.
But when you can read stats like this that clearly, it's tough to stay silent about it.
It's hard to argue for Slay over a guy like J.C. Jackson, who had more interceptions then Slay and a higher PFF grade. Terrell also had a great season, but him and Slay are close. It's basically a toss up there. Ramsey is the best corner in the NFL so obviously it's hard to argue against him also. But Diggs, I just think he's being overrated a bit in the NFL world and this proves that.
The fact that Slay wasnt even second team? Only one vote? Definitely seems a bit disrespectful to me. Sure, call me biased all you want but I'm providing stats that prove my point. What is the argument for Diggs? That he has 11 interceptions? Is that it?
The reality is that Big Play Slay had an unbelievable season, and it sucks that it won't be recognized past a Pro Bowl appearance. Slay has already publicly tweeted about this a couple times, so we can only hope this motivates him for Sunday.