LOS ANGELES – Corey Graham just figured he was in the right place at the right time. He had no other explanation for suddenly having the football in his hands, heading toward the end zone. Graham was a “robber” on the play, a third-and-1 snap from the Rams' 34-yard line, quarterback Jared Goff in control.
And then he wasn’t in control.
As Goff took the snap, he lost his balance when center John Sullivan stepped on Goff’s foot. Goff staggered as he dropped back, lost his balance and the football, and then regained both and was met by Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill. Then the play went crazy – a good thing for the Eagles.
Goff tried to throw a pass with Grugier-Hill draped on him and the ball squirted into the air. Graham was there for the interception at the Los Angeles 28-yard line. Graham returned the interception to the Los Angeles 12-yard line and the Eagles were in business with 2:12 remaining in the third quarter, leading 23-13.
“He dropped the ball, he got up. I’m just thankful he tried to throw it at the last second,” Graham said. “I think somebody hit him and it just fell in my hands. It’s just one of those situations where I happened to be in the right place at the right time.
“Honestly, I didn’t think about scoring. I was focused on catching the ball. I didn’t know where everybody was on the field. I just wanted to catch it. I was hoping to score, but as of late I’m been making a habit of getting close to the end zone (he had a similar play in Dallas last week).”
Graham, as the robber, is a free man on the play, so his responsibility was to follow the football. He saw Goff drop the football, rushed toward Goff, and “thought I could get a cheap sack.” He ended up with a whole lot more.
The takeaway, one of three for the Eagles – they also had three at Dallas – led to an Eagles touchdown. Quarterback Nick Foles completed an 8-yard catch-and-run to wide receiver Golden Tate followed by a Wendell Smallwood 4-yard touchdown run to put the Eagles ahead, 30-13.
“It was great that we turned that play into a touchdown,” Graham said. “We were focused on stopping Todd Gurley and putting pressure on their quarterback and I think we did that.”
Oh yes, the Eagles sure did that, registering an important road win to reach 7-7 on the season.
Check out the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Los Angeles Rams.