DETROIT — Darius Slay rated it his second-best interception ever.
By going up and pulling the football away from Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen in the end zone with 1:10 left, Slay sealed the 13-10 win for the Detroit Lions.
Allen finished with eight catches for 98 yards, many of those yards coming with Slay covering him.
“Oh man, he’s top five. He’s one of the best out here, best in the game. We were battling – back-and-forth, back-and-forth. (He) caught a couple passes, I made a couple break-ups. We know each other personally. We came out together,’’ Slay said. “It was a good battle. Good, friendly battle. We already knew what time it was. I was looking forward to this matchup just as much as he was. Now I just wish him the best the rest of this season.”
When he saw the ball coming into the end zone on that big play, Slay said, “That sh– mine, I saw that sh–, I said, ‘Oh this sh– mine.’ I’ve got to have that. He almost knocked it out but I got good hands, I’m a receiver.’’
He wasn’t surprised that quarterback Philip Rivers went to Allen on that third-and-19 play.
“That’s his go-to guy, that’s his man. If I’m the quarterback I’m throwing to him too, I don’t care if he’s double-covered or triple-covered that’s my guy and I’m going to make sure to see if he can make a play. I just made one more play than he did,” Slay said.
The Lions defense held the Chargers scoreless in the second half.
“To hold them under 10 points is good. Man, Philip is an awesome quarterback, great competitor. Before the game he sat there and told me, ‘Slay, it’s going to be early and often.’ So he already let me know it was going to be a competitive day,’’ Slay said. “I was prepared for it, he was prepared for it — I just made one more play at the end.’’
It wasn’t a perfect game for Slay. He was called for two defensive holding penalties in the second quarter (one was declined) and a big pass interference call in the third quarter in the end zone going up against Allen. He just had to get over those calls and he did.
“I have to, because if I don’t, if I lose myself, I’m failing the team. I can’t do that. I have to stay on my grind, stay competing, because these boys look up to me and expect a lot out of me. I just try to go out and give them what I got,’’ Slay said.
A week earlier it looked like the defense let up in the fourth quarter trying (and failing) to hold onto a fourth-quarter lead at Arizona.
It was all different at Ford Field on Sunday.
“Last week we didn’t play all four quarters, but this week we did,’’ Slay said. “That’s why we got it done.’’