MINNEAPOLIS — Brandon Graham made the defensive play of the game for the Eagles. In fact, he made about the only defensive play of the game for Philadelphia in its 41-33 Super Bowl LII win on Sunday night.
The Eagles gave up Super Bowl records of 505 passing yards and 613 total yards, and Tom Brady seemed able to direct the Patriots up and down the field at will for most of the contest. About the only thing that slowed them down was a dropped pass (by Brady himself) and a missed field goal on a bad hold. The Patriots were the first Super Bowl participant to go the entire game without punting.
But with just over two minutes left and the Eagles hanging on to a 38-33 lead, Graham finally showed up. He sacked Brady and punched the ball out of the quarterback’s hands. Fellow defensive end Derrick Barnett recovered the loose ball at the Patriots’ 31 to set up a 46-yard field goal with 1:05 left.
“I knew I had a one-on-one with the guard,” Graham said of his play. “I knew he liked to be aggressive, so I tried to act like I was pulling. I snatched it right off and Tom Brady’s arm was right there and I went for the ball.”
Graham said he was bothered by a hamstring injury during the game.
“I’m happy I toughed it out and didn’t give up,” he said.
The same went for the defense as a whole.
“We knew we were going to get an opportunity when Tom Brady had to hold the ball,” Graham said. “When the fourth quarter came, we had to make a stop. We hadn’t been making them all day, but at the end of the day, we just kept coming.”