Brandon Boykin came up with a beauty of an interception Sunday that turned the game on its head. It was highlight reel worthy. Boykin jumped in front of an Eli Manning pass intended for Victor Cruz and wrestled it away from Cruz overpowering the receiver.
It was a huge momentum changer in the game, and we can expect plays like this going forward from Boykin. Boykin did a masterful job shutting Cruz, arguably the best slot receiver in the game, down for most of the afternoon. Many fans and media members are calling for Boykin, the most talented player in the Philadelphia Eagles‘ secondary, to move outside and get more defensive snaps.
While this is a nice idea, Boykin is at his best when in the slot where he is able to use his quickness and shiftiness to blanket slot receivers and make plays. He seems to have a natural feel and knack for playing on the inside, and taking him out of the position would be a mistake. The Eagles also have no alternative replacement that would be even close to as effective as Boykin in the slot.
It is best for the defense that Boykin stays put and is allowed to do his thing in the slot. Nowadays the way teams run three and four wide receiver sets, the slot corner is essentially a starter in the secondary. It is a nice luxury that the Eagles have a player that they can rely on week in an week out in Boykin to do his job and make plays on the ball.
He is only getting better and better as a second year player in the league. The arrow is certainly pointing up for Boykin. Now if only the Eagles could get four more like him in the secondary.