It’s fitting that A.J. Brown’s first trip to the Super Bowl is coming with Jalen Hurts.
On the night Brown was traded to the Eagles, he and Hurts FaceTimed in a video that became famous for their giddiness and excitement. They had always talked about playing together and it finally became a reality. On the field? It’s worked out even better than anyone could have imagined.
And as the Eagles prepare to head to Phoenix for Super Bowl LVII, it’s all begun to sink in for Brown.
“I think it hit a little different, to be honest, after the game,” Brown said this week. “Kind of really set in today a little bit because we had to come back to work. We’re back to work. What we want to accomplish. Just being on this level with my friend, the talks that we had in the past, it’s right in front of our eyes.”
Brown, 25, had plenty of experience with the playoffs before this season. In his three years in Tennessee, the Titans went to the postseason all three years and even made it to the AFC Championship Game in his rookie season.
But none of those teams were as good as this Eagles squad. And Brown put up career numbers with his buddy Hurts in Philly. He caught 88 passes for 1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns during the regular season and earned his second Pro Bowl nod.
In the playoffs, Brown’s production hasn’t lived up to that. He caught 3 passes for 22 yards against the Giants in the divisional round and then caught 4 for 28 against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
Late in that Giants game, Brown showed some frustration about his lack of production, but that was a momentary blip.
The Eagles have crushed their first two playoff opponents 69-14 and basically cruised to wins in each second half. So his lack of production hasn’t mattered and it’s more a product of how well the offensive line and running attack have performed.
“Hats off to our O-line and our running backs, man,” Brown said. “They’ve been running the ball really well. I be having people coming at me sideways about me not putting up no numbers. But you gotta watch the game, man. You gotta watch the game to see how our offense, our O-line and our running backs have been dominating.
“We’re just doing whatever it takes right now. You never know how the game’s going to go. Just be prepared. I’m doing my job, I’m blocking, whatever the case may be. I don’t really care how it get done. As long as it get done.”
As quiet as Brown has been during these playoffs, there’s a high likelihood that the Eagles will need him to have a big game in Super Bowl LVII as they try to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes and the No. 1 offense in the NFL.
During the regular season, Brown averaged 88.0 yards per game and that was even with drawing the opponent’s top cornerback most weeks.
He’s a huge reason the Eagles finished with a 14-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the NFC this year.
“This was always the expectation,” Brown said. “When I got here, my first postgame speech, I told them I don’t want to put no pressure on them but this is the goal. This is why we play the game. I’m not playing for individual awards. I’m playing the game to be the best and hold that trophy up at the end. Right now, we’re right here. We’re at the door. We just have to go take it.”
It was pretty clear that this Eagles roster had the makings to be a special team. But Brown didn’t look at the roster when he decided to sign a four-year, $100 million extension that went with his trade from the Titans. He might have noticed it but it didn’t factor into his decision.
“All I needed to know was who was going to be my quarterback,” Brown said.
Now the pair of best friends are one win away from immortality.
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