Wow. What a comeback. After going down 21-10 with just over six minutes left on the clock, the Eagles’ pulled off a miraculous comeback to beat the New York Giants 22-21. With Brandon Graham’s big play, this is now the newest chapter in the book of heartbreaking Giants’ losses against Philadelphia. Still, for a team struggling with both injuries and winning, this may be one of the most meaningful games of the series yet for Eagles’ fans.
However, this game was by no means pretty. The Eagles’ offense was sloppy, and the defense was hot and cold, not being able to slow down the Giants’ Saquon-less running game. Yet, when times looked their bleakest, the Eagles stepped up on both sides of the ball, capped off by Brandon Graham’s game-winning strip-sack. Ahead, we’ll talk a little bit more about BG and his clutch performance against the division-rival Giants.
Big Play Brandon Graham
Statistically, it wasn’t Brandon Graham’s most mind-blowing night. Only totaling four tackles, two for loss, and a sack, Graham didn’t make much noise throughout the game. However, as he’s become known to do, in the clutch, BG delivered.
After Wentz and the offense drove down to take a one-point lead late, the defense had to make a stand. Graham didn’t take long to deliver. On 2nd and 12, with under 30 seconds remaining, BG blew past Giants’ tackle Cameron Fleming. He then beat RB Dion Lewis with an inside move. Then, in familiar fashion (Super Bowl 52, anyone?), Graham clubbed the ball out of QB Daniel Jones’ hand, and the rest is history. The Eagles fell on the loose ball, and the game was over.
In a play that closely resembled Graham’s strip-sack on Tom Brady to win Super Bowl 52, BG again proved his clutch-ness. On a defense that doesn’t often create big plays, Graham remains the exception. Luckily for Philadelphia, he was able to tap back into his clutch gene again on Thursday night.
The Heartbeat of an Otherwise Lifeless Defense
Although Graham and the rest of the defense stepped up when needed Thursday night, the unit has been rather lackluster as of recent. The last three weeks have shown a bad side of the Eagles’ D, one that can’t slow down the run and can’t cover outside of Darius Slay. Thursday night was a perfect example of not slowing down the run, as the Eagles’ defense allowed Giants’ rushers to rack up 160 yards. Although 80 of them came from one play, the Giants’ ground game gave the Eagles’ defense fits.
Yet, as it’s been for most of the season, BG continues to shine on an otherwise lackluster unit. He’s a guy defenses have to game plan around. Once again, we saw the same thing against New York. Even during his bad games, Graham gives this unit a pulse.
Brandon Graham’s New Home on the FPC Eagles Page
If you’ve been keeping count, you will notice that this is Graham’s third time named the FPC Eagles Defensive Player of the Week. That’s three of seven weeks. That’s called consistency.
With this being BG’s third time here, I say it’s time to talk a little more about his legacy as an Eagle. Graham has been one of the more underrated parts of this franchise for a while now. Although it took a while for him to blossom as a top tier NFL player, he’s found his niche over the past half-decade and has developed into a top tier defensive end. His run-stuffing abilities make him invaluable, and his, as previously mentioned, clutch genes have saved Philly on multiple occasions. Even if the Eagles do have a down year this season, it’s hard to ignore how great BG is. It’s time for the league to start putting some more respect on Brandon Graham’s name.