Brandon Graham finally makes the play Eagles defense needed

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Brandon Graham was painfully close to being a bust, but has emerged as a dangerous pass-rusher on a team with several of them.

In the same way, he needed plenty of time to finally make a play Sunday night, but when he made one, it mattered most.

Graham’s strip-sack of Tom Brady late in the fourth quarter was effectively a game-sealer. With the Patriots gaining 613 yards and never punting, plays were obviously few and far between. But Graham made one.

“We knew,” Graham said, via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “We knew that Tom Brady was going to try to take us out of the game. We knew we were going to have an opportunity in there where he was going to have to hold the ball. We just kept working, kept working, not getting frustrated, we had to keep talking to each other. ‘Hey, we’re going to make a play, we’re going to win this thing.’ People believed and at the end of the day, we won the game and we just kept staying strong.”

That’s a pretty easy career metaphor, for the former 13th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

He had 11.5 sacks in his first four seasons, when he appeared in over his head. But he had 9.5 of them this year and became one of the most consistent players on the team.

“We about to have a party on Broad Street, baby!” Graham said. “I know they tearing it up now, but we about to come and tear it up some more.”

Depending on cleanup efforts, there might not be much to work with. But Graham will get his chance eventually, as he did on Tom Brady.