Detroit Lions 2014 Mid-Season Report Card: Defense

4 of 5

Sep 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay (23) carries the ball against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Lions won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Young and the Old

I’ll be the first to admit, I was really skeptical of the Detroit Lions secondary before the season began. When the team cut Chris Houston I was a little beside myself.

How could the entrust in second-year CB Darius Slay to get the job done? Did they watch any of the games last year?

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I was however, very wrong.

As soon as the season began Slay started to show the NFL world that he was no slouch in the secondary. In fact, Slay is giving up receptions on just 50 percent of the balls thrown his way. The former Mississippi State Bulldog also has eight pass break-ups and one interception on the year. Granted, he has still given up a few big plays, but he has managed to minimize his flaws so far this year.

He also has a great mentor on the opposite side of the field too. Ageless wonder and 12-year NFL veteran DB Rashean Mathis has proven to be a great teacher for the young Slay and has also played pretty well himself. He would have even had a 103-yard interception return in London had he not interfered with the receiver in the endzone.

The rest of the cornerbacks for the Detroit Lions have been a real life game of musical chairs. Injuries have plagued the Nickel position, starting with the loss of Bill Bentley at the beginning of the year. Soon after, rookie Nevin Lawson, who replaced Bentley, required season-ending foot surgery. Since then the Lions have used Cassius Vaughn, Danny Gorrer, Don Carey, and undrafted rookie Mohammed Seisay to fill the void. Their success has been mild.

Cornerbacks Grade: B+