CINCINNATI -- Brandon Graham's losing streak against teams from Ohio may have continued Friday night in Cincinnati, but at least the rookie defensive end has his first NFL sack as a consolation gift.
The former Michigan man, who got swept by rival Ohio State in his four-year collegiate career, was a big factor in an solid performance by the defense on Friday night, notching his first career sack and a tackle for a loss.
"It felt good to break the ice," Graham said.
On third and 2 from the Bengals' 29-yard-line, Graham beat the right tackle and got to J.T. O'Sullivan's feet to bring down the quarterback for a drive-ending sack. On the next series, Graham blew through the line on a second-and-2 play to bring down running back Cedric Peerman for a five-yard loss.
Graham got a lot of playing time in the first half in sub packages, playing left end in the nickel defense and left defensive tackle in the buffalo package, which features five defensive backs but base line splits. He was then the left defensive end in the base defense in the third quarter, when he did his most significant damage.
Graham said playing inside suits him well.
"You get a lot of one-on-ones in there and most of the time on the outside you get double-teamed," said Graham, 6-2, 268. "I feel like I hold up well in there just because of my leverage and most of the time that's where the plays are headed anyway, so I like that."
Overall, it was an impressive night for the Eagles' top draft pick, and a good sign that Graham will be a factor early on for the 2010 defense. And even though the Eagles came out on the wrong end of the score, Graham thinks that the more the first team has a chance to play, the better the results will be.
"If we had played a little longer, I think we would have done even better," Graham said.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 12:29 a.m., August 21