The Philadelphia Eagles might not be the underdogs heading into Super Bowl LVII, but there is a lot of disrespect being hurled at the champions of the National Football Conference. The latest vitriol was spewed from the mouth of San Francisco 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk who firmly believes that his team was the best football team in the league. Hands down.
Aiyuk made the eye-opening comments during a recent interview with TheSFNiners where the talented 24-year-old explained that the 49ers had better players on both sides of the ball. He felt “sick” about losing to Philadelphia 31-7 in the NFC Championship Game and knows his team didn’t play up to their full potential.
“We have, hands down, the best football team in the league. Hands down,” Aiyuk said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “I’m not going even going to argue with anyone who thinks they should argue that.”
Maybe losing both their quarterbacks — Brock Purdy (UCL tear) and Josh Johnson (concussion) — had something to do with it. Or perhaps they choked on the biggest stage and the moment became too big. Whatever the case, Aiyuk didn’t want to hear that the Eagles were the better squad.
“I firmly believe we put fear in the opponent’s hearts,” Aiyuk said. “When they had to come to play San Francisco, the 49ers, we felt like it was our time. We felt like it was our time and for that to get cut short, it’s sickening.”
For the record, Aiyuk was held to just one catch for 10 yards in the conference championship game. The 49ers were held to 164 total yards of offense, including only 11 first downs on 45 plays while averaging 3.6 yards per play. San Francisco also committed three turnovers in what was a physically dominating performance from the Eagles’ defense. You could say the 49ers were gutted.
Giants’ Julian Love Not Impressed with Nick Sirianni
Aiyuk’s criticism piggybacked off comments from New York Giants safety Julian Love earlier this week when he accused Nick Sirianni of getting a “free ride.” Love sent a back-handed compliment to the Eagles by hyping up their experienced roster of “dogs” but dismissed their head coach for contributing to the team’s success. Love said: “He’s in for a free ride right now. You guys can coach this team.”
Well, okay then. Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham would later defend Sirianni and throw some major shade at Love. It appears as if there are a lot of bitter NFC rivals sitting at home this week as Philadelphia prepares to win its second Super Bowl in five years.
The Eagles, specifically Sirianni, deserve respect. And Graham let everyone know.
“People always got something to say when they at home,” Graham told reporters. “I just know that coach Sirianni — it don’t matter — what he did last year, with a team that nobody thought was gonna do much, he ended up getting us to the playoffs. Then for his second year, that’s what you’re supposed to do — you’re supposed to get better, bring players in to do exactly what you need them to do and we did that.”
Brandon Graham Snubbed for NFL Comeback Player
First, Nick Sirianni was snubbed for NFL Coach of the Year honors. He’ll be recognized by the Maxwell Football Club instead. Not quite the same bragging rights, but he’ll take it.
And now Brandon Graham has been taken out of the conversation for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He was originally announced as one of the five finalists for the award, but then the list got whittled down to three players. Graham isn’t on it.