He’s been doing this for 10 years now, and Brandon Graham has never been better.
And on an underachieving team decimated by injuries, racked by uneven play and hurt by shaky coaching, Graham has been a beacon of consistency and playmaking.
One of the few.
Graham had two more sacks in the loss to the Ravens and already has 5.0 sacks in six games, fourth most in the NFL. He’s only 4½ off his career high of 9½, set in the 2017 Super Bowl season.
“He’s killing it,” said Vinny Curry, Graham’s teammate since 2012 (other than 2018). “He’s still playing with passion, still doing B.G. types of things. It’s just great to see. He’s definitely having a dominating season.”
Graham wasn’t available to the media this week, but he’s spoken in the past about how he’d love to finally reach double digits in sacks this year and make his first Pro Bowl, and so far he’s on his way to both.
B.G. has had one of the stranger careers in Eagles history. Went from bust to folk hero in just a few years.
Just goes to show you how much a player’s success is tied to being in the right scheme with the right coaches and the right opportunity. And being persistent.
Graham had only 29 sacks in his first seven seasons, but he has 27 in the last four. Plus the most important postseason sack in franchise history.
The only Eagles to record 10 sacks in a season at the age of 32 or older are William Fuller, who had 13 in 1995 and 1996, and Darren Howard, who had 10 in 2008.
Graham is on his way there.
Sunday’s game was really one of Graham’s best because of the way he was able to contain the uncontainable Lamar Jackson.
That’s the oldest guy on the defense chasing after the fastest guy in the league.
Graham has 16 quarterback hurries (second to Malik Jackson’s 18) and eight tackles for loss in addition to his team-high 5.0 sacks.
And considering he began his career as a situational third-down edge specialist, Graham has really evolved into a beast against the run.
“B.G. is one of our best players,” Jim Schwartz said. “I think Brandon's played really well for us, particularly against the run.”
Maybe the most important thing about Graham is that he always answers the bell — injured, banged-up, hobbled.
He hasn’t missed a game because of an injury since 2011 and has played in 141 of a possible 142 games since 2012, missing only the meaningless 2017 season finale when he rested for the postseason run.
Graham, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce — three of the oldest Eagles — are the only players to start every game since opening day 2018.
B.G. really is the heart of this defense and the heart of this team. His enthusiasm is infectious, his leadership unquestioned, his determination unstoppable.
And in a season in which not a whole lot has gone right, Graham just keeps going out there and doing his thing, and lately, he’s done it better than ever.