Brandon Graham leads Eagles' historic sack parade

Brandon Graham leads Eagles' historic sack parade

Rodney McLeod and Brandon Graham were comparing notes earlier this weekend at practice.

McLeod had no interceptions.

Graham had no sacks.

They were due.

We both talked about it yesterday during walkthrough, we both need to get on the board this week, and we both did,” McLeod said. “B.G., he’s an impactful player for us in the run game or the pass game. He always has high energy, so it was good to see all the work he puts in pay off today having a huge game for us. He led the way.

Graham, now in his 10th year with the Eagles, had a career game in the Eagles 31-6 win over the Jets at the Linc with three of the Eagles’ 10 sacks.

He’s the first Eagle with three sacks in a game since Fletcher Cox last year and the first defensive end since Trent Cole back in 2013 against the Bears.

Graham had just four sacks in his previous 20 games.

We kept seeing Graham get close and not finish. He's always relentless, but he has a tendency to let quarterbacks get away sometimes.

Sunday, he finished.

You know, when you beat a man clean sometimes and you get your eyes all big and you get all extra hype, you know, sometimes you can overplay it,” he said. “Sometimes in that moment you’re so hyped to get that sack you can just be wild a little bit, and I had to calm down today and they just kind of popped right on me. … As a defensive lineman, that’s the dream, to hit him and sack him as many times as you can. I’m just happy I got him on the ground. I came close so many times, I’m just happy it worked out.

The Eagles were facing a hapless offensive line and an inexperienced rookie sixth-round pick quarterback, so you’d expect a bunch of sacks. And the Eagles delivered.

At one point late in the game, they had four sacks in a five-play stretch.

In addition to Graham’s three, cornerback Orlando Scandrick  — out of work a week earlier  — had two sacks, along with two forced fumbles and a touchdown return, and Josh Sweat, Daeshon Hall, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry and Hassan Ridgeway had one apiece.

The 10 sacks are the second-most in franchise history behind the 11 against Troy Aikman and the Cowboys back in 1991.

This is a team that had an NFL-low three sacks the first four games of the season.

I’m just happy we all went out there and had one of those games we’ve been dreaming about as a defensive line,” Graham said. “We’re coming together at the right time, especially after all of the emotional games we have played. We need one like this.

The Eagles sacked Luke Falk seven times in the second half and four times in the fourth quarter.

"Toward the end, you kind of felt they were ready to go,” Graham said.

Graham joins Reggie White (9 times), Clyde Simmons (4), Jason Babin (3), Greg Brown (2), Cole (2), Dennis Harrison (2), Mike Mamula (2) and Hugh Douglas, William Fuller, Ndukwe Kalu and Jevon Kearse as the 12th Eagles defensive end with three sacks in a game.

He now has 45 ½ career sacks in an Eagles uniform, sixth-most in franchise history.

He moved past Cox Sunday and into sixth place behind White (124), Cole (85.5), Simmons (76), Douglas (54 ½) and Brown (50 ½).

It’s a big deal,” Graham said. “Honestly, every time I get a sack for this organization. I just want to keep being good for them. I want to stay here as long as I can and have fun as long as I can and today was fun. Today we talked about having a party and we went out there and had a party.

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Eagle Eye podcast: Eagles still not ready to invest at linebacker

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Eagle Eye podcast: Eagles still not ready to invest at linebacker

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank is joined by a tired Dave Zangaro, still in Indianapolis at the combine. 

They guys break down Howie Roseman’s recent comments about the linebacker position and Howie’s radio remarks about the Jadeveon Clowney hit. 

The latest on Malcolm Jenkins, the proposed CBA and Rich Scangarello’s role in the Eagles’ offense. 

• Still not ready to spend on linebackers 
• Howie speaks out about Clowney’s hit
• Latest on the Malcolm Jenkins situation 
• A closer look at the proposed CBA and why it’s going to pass 
• Figuring out Rich Scangarello’s importance to the offense 
• And what if the Eagles bring back Alshon Jeffery? 

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NFL Free Agency: Eagles could face Jadeveon Clowney next year on NFC East rival

NFL Free Agency: Eagles could face Jadeveon Clowney next year on NFC East rival

Jadeveon Clowney is Public Enemy No. 1 for Eagles fans right now, after his dirty hit in the Wild Card round injured Carson Wentz and ended the Birds' playoff hopes.

Can you imagine facing Clowney twice in 2020? That might end up a reality, according to a report from none other than ESPN's Josina Anderson, another villain from the Wentz hit fallout.

Anderson reports that Clowney is opening to returning to the Seahawks in 2020, but is also open to other opportunities, and could be courted by an Eagles rival:

Ignoring the football implications for now - Clowney, antics aside, is good at football - let's think instead about the absolute mayhem that would meet Clowney when the Giants visited The Linc.

It would probably be... a lot. For a fanbase willing to boo its own guys, that's nothing compared to the wrath Philly fans unleash when they feel they've been wronged by a player, justified or not. Just ask Sidney Crosby how his last decade-plus of visits to this side of the state have been, without anything nearly as malicious on his rap sheet.

The entire organization was angry about the play, from guys like Jason Peters in the hours after the hit to Howie Roseman talking about its lingering effects just this week (see story), which means we'd likely see a fired-up team take the field in that first Giants game, especially if it happened to be at home, emotions swirling in the South Philly winds.

Roseman encapsulated most fans' feelings when he spoke at the NFL Combine on Wednesday:

We thought that was a foul. We’re sick to our stomach about the way our season ended for our team and Carson in particular. (...) Doug’s sick. Jeffery’s sick about it. Our whole organization is sick about it. We’re there, we have a home playoff game, eight plays in? Come on.

Luckily for Eagles fans seeking to voice their frustration, even if Clowney goes back to Seattle, he'll still visit the Linc next year. But it would be doubly satisfying to beat him while he plays for a division rival.

Can you imagine the roar of the crowd as Wentz spins out of a Clowney sack attempt, rolls to his right, and rifles a pass to Dallas Goedert to go up by two scores? The Linc might not survive.

We'll see what happens.

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