Brandon Graham: This is an opportunity for us to prove we're the best defensive line

This Sunday's NFC Championship Game features two of the best defenses not just in the NFC, but the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings led the league in both yards and points per game allowed. The Philadelphia Eagles ranked fourth in both categories. The Vikes ranked second in Football Outsiders' defensive DVOA and the Eagles ranked fifth. 

Both teams, like many good NFL defenses, are strong up front. The best way to build a good defense is to stop the run and get pressure on the quarterback without having to resort to the blitz. These teams both excel in all of those areas. Players like Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, Linval Joseph, Tom Johnson, Brian Robison, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Tim Jernigan, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, and more form two of the best trench groups in the NFL. 

On Sunday, Graham feels like his side has an opportunity to prove that it's actually the best. 

"We always have that mindset," Graham said, per "Every week and we got to go out there and prove it every week. And I think this is a good opportunity for us to prove who the best defensive line and front. You know, because we playing against the best, you know, and now we got to go out there and show up and if we say we the best, we got to go out there and prove it."

While one head-to-head matchup isn't necessarily the best way to prove anything, the two D-Lines are coming into the game with wildly similar resumes, so it makes sense that the group that helps its team to a win would feel like they've shown that they're indeed the best. 


"Now we've got to go out there and show up," Graham said. "We need to have more intensity than their defense. Then we'll see what happens."

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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