‘Be prepared, 18’: Darius Slay’s savage warning to Justin Jefferson months before clash resurfaces

‘Be prepared, 18’: Darius Slay’s savage warning to Justin Jefferson months before clash resurfaces

Published September 21, 2022
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The Philadelphia Eagles dominated the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, 24-7. In the win, Eagles cornerback Darius Slay picked off two passes from Kirk Cousins and blanketed Justin Jefferson for most of the night. Jefferson finished with just 48 yards receiving in the loss.

On Tuesday, a video resurfaced of Slay when talking about the #NFL100 ranking. In the video, Slay is seen letting Jefferson know that he is preparing for their matchup.

Darius Slay on Justin Jefferson on this year’s #NFLTop100:

“I see him on my schedule next year. I’ve already done my game film on you. I’m ready to compete!” @bigplay24slay pic.twitter.com/3pWN2czHb6

— NFL (@NFL) September 20, 2022

“Them LSU boys are different now at receiver, definitely him (Jefferson). He’s special, special. I see him on my schedule next year. I got him circled up. So, I already did my game film on him. So, be prepared 1-8. Be ready, I’m locked in and ready to compete,” Slay said.

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Clearly, he was not joking. Slay finished with a game-high five passes defensed to go with two interceptions.

Justin Jefferson failed to create separation during the game, despite seeing a decent amount of man coverage. The Vikings offense struggled throughout the game both on the ground and through the air. Cousins fell to 2-10 all-time when playing in prime time. That is a statistic that’s difficult to overlook.

If Minnesota wants to take that next step this year, they must find ways to win big games. A lot of big games tend to happen in prime time when the lights shine the brightest. That’s usually when Jefferson stands out.

Jefferson is coming off a monster year in 2021. He finished second in the NFL in most categories with 108 catches for 1,616 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns. He was coming off of a huge Week 1 performance when he caught nine balls for a career-high 184 yards and two touchdowns. The Vikings need to find ways to get Jefferson the ball in space, one way or another.