Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham believes there’s one way to try to stop to Kansas Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Super Bowl LVII will pit an elite Eagles’ pass rush against Patrick Mahomes, widely regarded as the best player in the NFL. Brandon Graham knows that Philadelphia must try to put as much pressure on Mahomes as possible if the Eagles want a chance at slowing down the Chiefs’ star.
“You’ve got to take your shot. You can’t play scared,” Graham said, via Matt Lombardo of Heavy Sports. “You see when teams play that way, he carves you up. So, I’ll take my shot, and if he makes a play, well, he gets paid too.”
The Eagles’ ability to get after the quarterback might be their greatest strength. Mahomes’ ability to escape pressure could be limited. On Super Bowl Sunday, Mahomes will only be three weeks removed from suffering a high ankle sprain.
The likely 2022 NFL MVP, Mahomes can pick apart any defense if he has time to throw. If Graham and the Eagles can make Mahomes uncomfortable, Philadelphia might come away with the championship.
Kansas City’s Super Bowl loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two years ago was highlighted by the Chiefs’ inability to protect Mahomes. Mahomes was on the run for much of the game. The former Super Bowl MVP had two interceptions and led Kansas City to just nine points in the loss.
The Eagles led the NFL in the regular season with 70 sacks. Philadelphia had 15 more sacks than any other team. Graham was one of three Eagles’ defenders who had exactly 11 sacks. Haason Reddick led Philadelphia with 16 sacks in 17 games.
Philadelphia sacked Daniel Jones five times in its 38-7 divisional playoff win over the New York Giants. The Eagles recorded three more sacks over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, even though injuries to Brock Purdy and backup quarterback Josh Johnson limited Philadelphia’s sack opportunities.
Graham punctuated the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots five years ago with a strip sack of Tom Brady.