Brown leads Eagles past Titans

PHILADELPHIA — AJ Brown’s touchdown celebration said it all.

After reeling in a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jalen Hurts early in the second quarter in the Eagles’ 35–10 win over the Tennessee Titans, Brown pulled out a towel, ran to the goalpost and waved his finger like it was misbehaving and then hit the pole three times with the towel before hugging him.

The message was addressed to his old team.

“Today I must give you this cry,” he said. “But I still love you.”

That touchdown was reversed as Brown didn’t get a second foot in line, but he scored on the next play to finish with eight catches, 119 yards, and two touchdowns. After the second score, he pulled the towel out of the closet again.

“This one meant a lot to me. At first I had mixed feelings about the craft and everything. I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t circle this game,” he said.

Brown was tied from the Titans to the Eagles on the first night of the draft in April for the Nos. 18 and 101 overall picks. The trade was contingent on a new contract extension — something Brown and the Titans couldn’t agree on. Philadelphia signed him to a four-year, $100 million deal that included $57 million guaranteed that night.

He’s been dynamite to Philadelphia. In 12 games, he has 61 catches, 950 yards and nine touchdowns.

Leading up to the match, Brown said the match was not personal. But afterwards he told me how much it meant to him.

“It’s been personal since the trade to be honest. I’ve just tried to keep it contained,” he said. “That’s where I wanted to be and it didn’t work out and it was kind of just, ‘here you go – we don’t want you anymore’, and you just get pushed aside. In that situation, for me I had to grow up fast .”

Brown added that he “had to learn it was a business” and that “of course I wanted them to regret the decision.”

The 7-5 Titans missed its production. Heading into the game, rookie Treylon Burks was their leader in receiving yards with 369. Burks suffered a concussion against the Eagles on Sunday after a hit by safety Marcus Epps on a spectacular touchdown catch.

“It’s not about AJ,” said Titans coach Mike Vrabel, when asked if trading Brown was in the team’s best interest. “AJ played a good game. We can’t give up big plays in defense. We tried to let them earn the game by coming into the game, and obviously we didn’t.”

Brown became animated late in the third quarter when Tennessee defensive back Andrew Adams tackled him by his right lower leg and it seemed to keep spinning even after Brown was on the ground.

“He rolled a little bit, twisted my ankle a little bit. There’s no need for that kind of plays. Competing, doing whatever in between the whistle, I’m all for it. If you get me, you’ve got it. But dirty stuff after the play, I’m not going for that,” said Brown. “I’m a man first and foremost. We play this game. We play football. I’m not here to hurt you, so you shouldn’t be here to hurt me. It’s a mutual respect – there has to be. I’m not going for that.”

Aside from that order, Brown mostly expressed love towards his former team and teammates, even when he set out to prove something to them.

“I think the whole world knew what it meant to him based on who he is, what he is like and how he reacts to certain things,” said Hurts, who threw three touchdowns and ran for another against the Titans. “I’m glad he put on a show. He’s a special player and a good friend. He’s a real special player. I know we’re making a big deal out of it, but hopefully we can move on from it now. He did what he did, and on to the next.”

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