When the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, we will crown the well-deserved champion after a season long effort. Not only will we have a new Super Bowl champion, but we will have a Super Bowl MVP as well. One player who could conceivably make a case for this sward is Eagles cornerback Darius SLay. In what is a typical quarterback driven award, can a defenseman take home the hardware?
Darius Slay Super Bowl MVP Odds
The Case for Darius Slay +8500
Regarded as one of the best shut down corners during his prime, Slay’s production has taken a slight dip as he has aged. While his production has dipped, his secondary help has drastically increased as now Darius Slay is part of the best defensive pass unit in football. A stark difference from his time with Detroit, as Slay now captains a secondary that finished the season ranked first in Def Pass DVOA.
The Eagles will need every bit of that elite coverage as the Chiefs are once again the number one pass attack in football. Even when hobbled, Mahomes has shown an elite ability to get the ball off to his receivers. He is now expected to be far healthier with extra days rest, putting more pressure on the Eagles secondary to step up.
While this is normally a quarterback driven award, let alone an offensive player in general, defensive players have shown the ability to bring home the hardware. Von Miller was the last to do so in Super Bowl 50 for his efforts in Denver, while Dexter Jackson was the last cornerback to pull it off in Super Bowl XXXVII.
How Darius Slay can win the award
Should Darius Slay repeat Dexter Jackson’s two interception performance, then he can assure that his name will be a popular choice as a potential Super Bowl MVP. Especially when a brunt of the Chiefs success is off the back of Patrick Mahomes and his elite passing abilities. The Chiefs finished the season first in Off Pass DVOA.
While his stat line has decreased in comparison to when he was in his prime, Slay still has a nose for the ball with three interceptions on the season. That is hardly at any fault of his own as opposing offenses have been smart by throwing away from their elite coverage.
The Eagles also boast a weak rush defense, ranking 21st in Def Rush DVOA. That means the secondary will have to help stack the box in rushing situations, giving Slay opportunities to pad his stat line with tackles. Should Slay find himself downhill in tackling situations and potentially force a fumble or two, then he will find himself in good position to bring home the trophy.
How Darius Slay cannot win the award
The harsh reality is that it is very hard to find the MVP as a defensive player with history not being on his side. Especially as a cornerback as only two players have been able to pull off that feat in the history of the award.
Not only is history not on his side, but he now goes against the best quarterback in the league. The Chiefs have drastically altered their passing identity since the departure of Tyreek Hill, gearing towards a more conservative approach that has still amassed first place passing metrics.
Andy Reid is also one of the most intelligent offensive coaches in football and will be sure to lean slightly heavier towards the ground game as that is the Eagles defense main weakness. Should that happen then that takes away precious interception opportunities, a detrimental blow to Slay’s MVP chances as taking the ball away is a necessity for him to win it.
With a lack of cornerbacks bringing home the award, I will pass on Slay’s chances of winning the MVP. The Chiefs conservative pass attack limits interception opportunities, a necessity for Slay’s MVP chances.
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