Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham is in his eighth season and is the longest-tenured player on the Birds' defense. He currently leads the defense with four sacks. Recently, I slowed him down just long enough to ask him some questions. The topics included the Eagles' 5-1 record and facing a key offensive weapon on the Redskins.
Gunner: With a 5-1 record, are you guys enjoying having that target on your back? Everyone in the NFC is gunning for you guys right now.
Graham: They didn't give us a chance in the beginning. We were going to be at the bottom of the NFC East. We got a lot of new guys, but we didn't have the chemistry, and now all we do is work. Nobody is worried about 5-1 right now. We're just worried about the Redskins. It's the next game up. We have another opportunity to go out and win a game. I guess after the season we'll look back and say, 'OK this is what we did.' I don't see guys getting caught up in 5-1. We just work.
Gunner: Speaking of the Redskins, a guy you have to watch closely Monday night is RB Chris Thompson. How special is this guy? He's their leading rusher and leading receiver averaging almost 19 yards per catch.
Graham: Man, he's good. He has good balance, good vision, fast. He's everything you want in a running back. I think we have a good challenge up ahead. We just have to play team defense, and rally to the ball. Get numbers to the ball and we should be fine.
You can see the extended version of my conversation with Graham Monday night at 7 p.m. on Eagles Pregame Live on NBC Sports Philadelphia+.
Tom Brady's hand injury didn't end up costing the Patriots the AFC title game. But the Patriots quarterback wasn't always so sure that would be the case.
On WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show, Brady went into some detail as to what he was thinking when the injury occurred, how it happened, and how his bit of bad luck was followed by some good fortune.
"We ran into each other, and my thumb just got bent back," Brady said. "It wasn't his helmet or anything. It just kind of got bent back, and that's why I thought it was a lot worse. The doctors checked it out and we did the things just to kind of check on everything. Fortunately there wasn't the damage that normally comes associated with that. I think we were very lucky."
Brady said once again, as he did Sunday night, that he hopes to have the stitches in his hand removed this week. Once that happens, Brady indicated that the hope was his hand would essentially be back to normal at that point.
"Because I was fortunate not to tear any ligaments or anything like that, there was no broken bones, that was obviously the best news I could ever hear based on what you thought it could be," he said. "It ended up being a lot of good luck after, I'd say, a pretty unlucky injury. It turned out to be a lot good luck it wasn't more serious than it was."
The two-week wait between championship weekend and Super Bowl LII should give Rob Gronkowski enough time to recover from his concussion Sunday.
The Patriots are "optimistic that he'll be cleared to play" in the Super Bowl, according to the Boston Herald.
Gronk was injured in the second quarter of the Patriots' game against the Jaguars when he was the victim of a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jacksonville safety Barry Church.
The Patriots were still able to mount yet another playoff comeback despite Gronk's catching just one pass.
His return is obviously crucial to the Patriots' offense, which operates in an entirely different way when Gronk is on the field vs. when he's off it.
Gronk has faced the Eagles just once in his eight-year career. He caught four passes for 59 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 38-20 win over the Eagles in November 2011. Vince Young was the Eagles' starting quarterback.