Flashback Friday: NFL ignores Eagles star Brandon Graham after huge day

Brandon Graham #55, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Brandon Graham #55, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

It’s only the New York Jets. How many times have you heard that? How many times have you heard that the Big Apple belongs to the New York Giants or that Gang Green has one function in our football lives? What function you ask? The Jets are looked at by Big Blue and everyone else in the football universe like Michigan views Michigan State, like they’re the ‘little brothers’. Heck, if you’re the Philadelphia Eagles, it’s probably hard to remember that the Jets play in New York sometimes. Isn’t that how the rest of us treat them?

The point of that mini-tirade is this. The Jets are the Rodney Dangerfields of the NFL. They get no respect. The Jets are supposed to lose. That’s how we feel, so much so that, if your team was to somehow come out on the losing end when they cross paths with New York’s other NFL franchise, it will forever be remembered as an unforgivable sin worthy of a scarlet letter.

The Jets get no love, not even from the league offices. That’s been proven over and over. Just ask Brandon Graham, who put on a performance to remember during an October 6th meeting way back in 2019 and received the snub of the season in the days that followed.

Remember that time the Eagles thrashed the Jets and Brandon Graham got snubbed?

Picture it. 2019 is the year. It’s Week 5 of the NFL season, and the Eagles are coming off of a ten-day rest following an emotional but gratifying win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football. Next up on the schedule was a home date versus the New York Jets.

You already know what the vibe was, don’t you? Yep! Here comes an easy win!

There would be no letdown. The Birds rolled all over Gang Green in a convincing 31-6 blowout victory. Brandon Graham, a man that, shall we say, played a career that, at times, underrated was one of the stars. He led Philly in both total tackles (six) and solo stops (four). He also notched three sacks and six additional quarterback hits on the day.

How did the NFL respond? They awarded the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week Award to Marshon Lattimore following a day in which he recorded a career-high six pass breakups in New Orleans’ 33-22 victory over the Washington Football Team.

Sure, that’s cool and all of that. No one’s knocking what Lattimore did. That was the most passes defended by a player in a single game since 2017, but it isn’t three sacks and six quarterback hits.

We all know why Lattimore one though. The Eagles beat Luke Falk and the Jets, and even back then, there was a sentiment by fans, the media, and the league offices. Here’s what it was. You can’t take anything from that type of performance versus the Jets because, well, it’s the Jets.

It’s not like Lattimore was playing supreme competition in that Washington Football Team, but as bad as the guys from our nation’s capital were in 2019, at least they could hang their hats on something. They weren’t as bad as the Jets were.

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That’s what you’re supposed to do when you play the Jets, and that meant nothing B.G. did on that day was ever going to be seen as special. It’s the story of Graham’s career, and that’s the story of the snakebitten Jets. They’re supposed to lose.

The Eagles have a walkthrough on Sunday in Week 13 of the 2021 NFL season. That’s the narrative surrounding this game. If Philadelphia falters, the reaction isn’t going to be a positive one. For the sake of an entire fan base’s mindset, Philly needs to win, and they need to win big.