HomeDa Birds NewsBrandon Graham Anticipates Bringing Back "Dog Mentality" Against Bucs: "Excited for It!"

Brandon Graham Anticipates Bringing Back “Dog Mentality” Against Bucs: “Excited for It!”

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PHILADELPHIA – Get ready for the Philadelphia Eagles to play the hits this week in advance of next Monday night’s Wild Card game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, something veteran defensive end Brandon Graham foreshadowed on the organization’s flagship radio station.

“I understand y’all frustration, but y’all ain’t in that building. So I can’t wait. … I feel like that dog mentality of us got to come back. … It kind of got back to that feeling of like, everybody doubting us again,” Graham said on WIP Radio.

That sentiment is distinctly Philadelphia. … A city that craves being the underdog so much that it pretends it’s up against the wall even when the facts say otherwise, as will be the case in Tampa.

Despite losing five of six games to end the season and playing on the road, the 11-6 Eagles, who are the reigning NFC champions, opened as a 1.5- to 2.5-point favorite depending on the betting market you might like.

Eagles DE Brandon Graham is playing a familiar card in Philadelphia.John McMullen/Eagles Today

And that number has only inched up.

That landscape is more of a testament to the 9-8 Bucs, who finally sewed up the NFC South on Sunday with a less-than-inspiring 9-0 win against 2-15 Carolina in which Tampa managed just 228 yards of total offense.

In other words, “everyone” doubting the Eagles doubts the Buccaneers just a little bit more.

Related: Sirianni Reveals Self-Affirmation for Playoffs: ‘We’ll Fight!’

Raymond James Stadium in Tampa has hosted an annual college Bowl Game since 1999, a heritage that traces back 13 years earlier to the old Tampa Stadium and the Hall of Fame Bowl. By 1996 the game was rechristened as the Outback Bowl and these days it’s ReliaQuest Bowl where LSU outlasted Wisconsin 35-31 back on New Year’s Day.

If ReliaQuest, a cybersecurity firm, wants a little more bang for its buck, perhaps it can sponsor the first reverse-engineered playoff game where the loser of the two teams no one believes in can relish in the doubt.

Or better yet, one of these teams can forget the ancillary white noise, take the bull by the horns, and erase any outside consternation with demonstrated performance.

That sounds like a better alternative than the same tired old song of “Woe is Me.”

“I look at it as a challenge that I know we can get out of this slump that we’re in,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “It’s my job to make sure that we do, and I look at it as a challenge and how sweet it will be when we do get out of it because I know we will, and I know we’ve got the right guys to get out of it.”

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