clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eagles’ Brandon Graham says Chiefs’ O-line ‘blessed’ with slick Super Bowl field

The Philadelphia defensive end made headlines in a recent interview.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

In a recent interview on “Sports Take” with Derrick Gunn and Rob Ellis, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Ellis talked about the frustration he and his defensive teammates felt as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

“Dang, boy!” he exclaimed to Gunn and Ellis. “They took one from us!”

Graham said that for the Eagles, watching Chiefs players put on their new championship rings was giving them more motivation to return to the 2023 championship game, which will be played at Reliant Stadium in Las Vegas.

“It sucked to see that ring ceremony the other day, boy,” he admitted. “But [it was] fooling us even more to get ready for this for this Vegas trip we’re making.

“But you know, there ain’t no guarantees. We gotta put the work in. I’m gonna take it one game at a time — but that’s [what] our sights are on this year.”

In 2022, Philadelphia led the league by collecting 70 sacks — just two short of the all-time record set by the Chicago Bears in 1984. As a rotational player, Graham had a career-high 11 sacks — and he believes that the way Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was playing in the Super Bowl, just one more would have made the difference.

“Man, it was tough — because you knew it just took one stop,” he said. “One stop! We’re in there the whole time, like, ‘One stop, y’all! We get one stop, we got this game — because Jalen [and] them boys were on fire, man.”

While the longtime NFL veteran was willing to recognize the skill that the Kansas City offense demonstrated against the Philadelphia defense — which allowed the league’s third-fewest yards in 2022 — he still believes it had some extra help.

“It was more about the [playing] surface,” he recalled. “You need that traction to be able to get off the [snap] — and we were slipping a lot. I mean, I don’t make excuses. I just know that’s what was being talked about.”

It has been a subject of discussion. Even as the Chiefs’ offensive linemen were wearing “0 Sacks” T-shirts during the team’s Super Bowl parade, there was discussion about how the slippery field at State Farm Stadium had given each offensive line an advantage against opposing defensive linemen. Graham said that his teammate Josh Sweat — who had also made 11 sacks in the regular season — came close to game-changing plays.

“[There were] a couple of times where if Sweaty don’t slip, boy — strip sack!” he claimed. “Oh my God! Especially that first drive when [Patrick Mahomes] threw it across the middle to Kelce, [Sweat] was right there, man. He slipped. We could not believe it.”

And then Graham handed over the headline to his interview.

“I’m telling you: that O-line, they got blessed. I’ll say that.”

To his credit, Graham was also willing to acknowledge that Kansas City had to play on the same field — and still sacked Hurts twice in the championship game.

“Hey, if we’re gonna win, we’ve gotta go through the battle,” he allowed. “If that’s what they putting out, that’s what we’ve gotta do.”

Graham will begin his 14th season with the Eagles in September — and will get another chance against the Chiefs during Week 11’s “Monday Night Football” matchup at Arrowhead Stadium.

But in 2023, it might be that Kansas City’s reinforced offensive line won’t need the benefit of a slippery field against Philadelphia’s defenders.

NEW: Join Arrowhead Pride Premier

If you love Arrowhead Pride, you won’t want to miss Pete Sweeney in your inbox each week as he delivers deep analysis and insights on the Chiefs' path to the Super Bowl.