By Patrick Del Gaone, Sports Talk Philly editor
Many around the league remained skeptical when the Philadelphia Eagles began the season with decisive victories over Cleveland and Chicago, but now, believers are beginning to come out of the woodwork.
Steelers offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert tracked down Brandon Graham following the Eagles 34-3 shellacking of Pittsburgh last Sunday, telling the defensive end that he plans on seeing them in a rematch for Keystone State supremacy.
According to Gilbert, next time, it’ll be in the Lone Star State.
“[Gilbert] gave me a nice compliment after the game and just told me, ‘We’ll see you guys in the Super Bowl because ain’t nobody gonna be able to block ya’ll,’” Graham told the 94WIP Morning Show. “It was kinda cool.”
Graham has benefitted tremendously from the Philadelphia defense switching from a 3-4 alignment to a 4-3 under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. According to Pro Football Focus, the former first-round pick is graded as the top 4-3 defensive end in the NFL this season, accruing three sacks and a forced fumble through three weeks.
The Eagles defense has been nothing short of ferocious dating back to the first exhibition game. In three regular season games, Schwartz’s unit has allowed only 20 offensive points, a miniscule 6.7 points per game.
Ranking 2nd in offensive points allowed are the Seahawks, who have yielded 37, nearly double that of the Eagles.
On the other side of the ball, Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward was blown away by the outstanding efficiency of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.
“He played like a freakin’ Hall of Famer,” Heyward told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Wentz and the Eagles scored 34 points on Mike Tomlin’s defense, which is more than Pittsburgh’s first two opponents combined.
If the Eagles and Steelers do end up meeting in Houston for Super Bowl 51, you can expect plenty of fans from both sides of Pennsylvania to make the 1,550-mile pilgrimage southwest in early February.
Houston was the site of the 2016 Final Four, where the Villanova Wildcats defeated North Carolina in the college basketball National Championship.