Philadelphia Eagles' Darius Slay collects fumble, evades Denver Broncos for 82-yard score

ByTim McManus ESPN logo
Monday, November 15, 2021

DENVER --Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay was joking all week that he could produce as a wide receiver.

He showed off his yards-after-the catch ability with an 82-yard fumble return for a touchdown late in the third quarter Sunday. Slay scooped up a fumble byDenver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon, bobbled it, broke right, then bounced it back and found a crease down the left side

It was the longest defensive touchdown for the Eagles since 2015 Week 17 against theNew York Giants.

Earlier in the game,Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith landed the first blowin a battle of Alabama first-round picks.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts found Smith, who turned 23 on Sunday, for a 36-yard touchdown in the right corner of the end zone late in the first quarter to give Philadelphia a lead over Denver. CornerbackPatrick Surtain II was tight in coverage, but Smith showed good body control as he leapt to secure the catch. He now has touchdowns in back-to-back games.

Smith had 0.7 yards of separation on the TD pass. That's the second-least distance of separation on a passing touchdown in Hurts' career and only his third career tight-window touchdown, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

Surtain and Smith went ninth and 10th overall in April's NFL draft. They played three seasons together at Alabama. This week, Smith credited Surtain for making him a better receiver through their competition in practice.