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Game Ball of the Week: Jimmy Graham

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JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 02:  Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints looks on during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 2, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 02: Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints looks on during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 2, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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It's game ball giveaway time!

I suppose I can't avoid it any longer. I've got to give one of our coveted game balls to Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. He's been playing too damn well for too damn long. Other than Drew Brees he was far and away the most valuable ingredient in the Saints recipe for victory over the Panthers on Sunday. But you don't have to take my word for it, you guys agree. Check out his numbers from the day...


vs CAR / 1.1.12 Receiving
Rec Yards Avg TD
Jimmy Graham 8 129 16.1 0

But while his performance against the Panthers might have been a big day for the big boy, the entire 2011 season thus far has been the Jimmy Graham show. All Jimmy, all the time. Here's a look at his total numbers on the year:

Targets Receptions Yards Average Long TD
48 32 496 15.5 59 3

You know I like to do a little stat projecting in these posts and if we extrapolate those numbers above, Graham would finish the season with 102 catches for 1,587 yards and nearly 10 touchdowns if he continues at this rate. That's one hell of a season for a tight end.

If I've got any qualms whatsoever about the play of Mr. Jimmy it's simply: how long can this dude keep up this pace? That's a rhetorical question, of course, because I don't really want to know the answer and whatever that answer is, it's not long enough. 

So congrats, Jimmy, for earning Canal Street Chronicles' highest honor. You deserve it. I'd like to also offer a pat on the back to the Saints front office for stealing this kid in the third round of last years draft. Way to know football better than idiots like me and message board guy. Because if it were up to us, the Saints would currently have 13 outside linebackers and a really crappy punter.