Brandon Graham deserves the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award
We’re calling it now. Brandon Graham is the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year. Period… Point blank… End of sentence. We’ve officially seen enough to convince us.
For the second time this season, he’s the NFC Defensive Player of the Week following his three-sack performance for the Philadelphia Eagles versus the rival New York Giants. The honor is well deserved. During the NFL’s 14th week of action, you would have been hard-pressed to find a defensive performance that was better.
While most of you are reading this, Philly hasn’t played its 14th game yet. They have yet to battle the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve. We’re a long way from breaking down their game versus the New Orleans Saints and the regular-season finale versus the New York Giants, but again, we’ve seen enough.
B.G. has our vote. He should have yours as well. Regardless of what happens between now and the close of the season, he has already completed pro football’s most impressive revenge tour of the 2022-2023 regular season. So much so that, if he isn’t given the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award one night before the Super Bowl at the annual NFL Honors ceremony, there needs to be an immediate and thorough investigation.
If Brandon Graham doesn’t win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award, expect a riot.
We all remember where we were when we saw it, Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season. Brandon Graham sat on the turf at Lincoln Financial Field. We didn’t know the prognosis at that time. We later learned that he had suffered a torn Achilles.
B.G. was placed on Philly’s injured reserve on September 21st of that year. Just like that, his season, one that followed a Pro Bowl nomination in 2020 (his first), was over.
Recovering from a ruptured Achilles takes a while. Heck, that’s the case if you aren’t playing football. The task becomes even more daunting when one celebrates their 34th birthday during the process and tries to work their way back into football shape.
What can we say? B.G. is an alien.
Graham didn’t just work his way back. He was on the field for the Eagles’ regular-season opener this past September versus the Detroit Lions. He played 29 snaps, less than half of the defense’s total. He racked a half-sack, a tackle, and an additional hit on quarterback Jared Goff. Two weeks after that, he tallied 2.5 sacks versus the Washington Commanders.
14 Weeks of the NFL season and 13 games of the Eagles’ campaign are in our rearview mirror. Graham has 28 tackles on his resume, including nine that have resulted in a loss of yardage. Add that to 8.5 sacks on the season, 13 additional QB hits, a pass breakup, and two forced fumbles.
He should hit the ten-sack threshold for the first time in his career, and get this. He’s still playing less than half of the defensive snaps in a rotational role as he works his way back to 100% after the aforementioned Achilles tear. Again, Brandon Graham is an alien.
We won’t take up too much of your time. We’ll just leave you with this.
With all due respect to other deserving players, Geno Smith for example, B.G. is the most deserving of the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award. We wouldn’t mind if he won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy too. The evidence that he is deserving of both is overwhelming.
Still, even if the decision winds up being that the game’s most prestigious honor belongs with someone else, so be it, but regardless of what happens going forward, anything less than some hardware for one of the game’s most impressive comebacks is inexcusable. As WWE fans would say, if B.G. loses, we riot.
We’re teasing about that last line of course… sort of…