PHOENIX — Defensive end Brandon Graham is the author of one of the biggest plays in Philadelphia Eagles history — a strip sack on Tom Brady late in Super Bowl LII to help secure Philadelphia’s first-ever Lombardi Trophy with a win over the New England Patriots .
Five years later, Graham is hoping history will repeat in Super Bowl LVII against the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, whom he referred to this week as “the GOAT”
“Man, getting a strip sack on him too, that’d be nice,” Graham said. “But we’re going to have some fun, man. He’s definitely the GOAT because he’s already won one and you can see he’s been here a lot of times already. And he’s young.
“Credit to him and his hard work and Coach [Andy] Reid, being paired up with a good coach, and just taking full advantage of his opportunity.”
This is Mahomes’ third trip to a Super Bowl, having won it during the 2019 season against the San Francisco 49ers. A front-runner for league MVP, the 27-year-old Mahomes has a chance to become the first player in NFL history to win multiple league MVPs and championships within his first six seasons.
Mahomes versus the Eagles pass rush is one of the key matchups in the game. He led the NFL in passing yards (5,250) and passing touchdowns (41) while operating behind an offensive line that was tops in ESPN’s pass-block win rate metric. Philadelphia, meanwhile, led the league in sacks with 70 — the third most in NFL history — and was first in pass rush win rate (52%) and sack percentage (11%).
The group has been guided by edge rusher Haason Reddick, whose 19.5 sacks, including playoffs, ranks second in Eagles history to only Reggie White (21 in 1987). Now Reddick turns his attention towards Mahomes.
“He’s one of the quarterbacks in the league that I haven’t been able to sack yet or haven’t gotten to yet,” Reddick said on Super Bowl’s opening night. “If I’m able to get to him and I get him in the Super Bowl, that’s going to be historic for me.”