A.J. Brown has massive 3-touchdown day for undefeated Eagles, and it's all thanks to the Titans

The Philadelphia Eagles made some serious moves this offseason to make their team better, but the most important was acquiring A.J. Brown. While that's been true for the entire 2022 season, it was screamingly obvious on Sunday when the Eagles hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Brown and quarterback Jalen Hurts went off on the Steelers, hooking up for three touchdowns in the first half. And they were all beautiful — examples of what a quarterback and receiver can do when they're totally in sync.

The first one, which came with just over nine minutes left in the first quarter, featured Brown whizzing in to snatch a ball that looked like it could have been intercepted.

The second TD catch came in the second quarter on third-and-eight pass from Hurts that was, like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.

The third TD catch happened just a few minutes after the second.

Those were three gorgeous touchdowns, and here are some equally glittering numbers to go along with them. Brown became just the fifth player in the last 20 years of Eagles history to score at least three receiving touchdowns, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Also according to ESPN, Sunday was the first time an Eagles receiver has had three receiving touchdowns of 20-plus air yards in a game since 2006.

And if your fantasy team faced Brown on Sunday, it just wasn't your day.

In all, Brown had six catches for a career-high 156 yards. But it wasn't just Brown making this happen. Jalen Hurts, who is the godfather of Brown's infant son, threw some absolute dimes to Brown on Sunday. He threaded some very tough needles, and Brown responded by being there every time to catch them.

But that's what can happen when you trust in talent. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman added a dynamite player the Tennessee Titans didn't want to pay decided to trade, and that player ended up making the guys around him (on his new team) better. Giving Hurts a serious target like Brown has made him a better player, which benefits the Eagles even when Brown isn't on the field.

Brown was too expensive for Titans

So how did Brown, who was drafted by the Titans in 2019, end up on the Eagles? It's all about risk and reward. No one expected the Eagles to finish the 2022 NFL draft with a true impact player, but that's what they did. They had the 18th overall pick in the draft, but in a total surprise move from Roseman, that 2022 first-round pick plus a 2022 third-round pick were traded to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for Brown.

The Titans weren't rebuilding, and had in fact just won the AFC South in 2021. Brown had emerged as one of the best wide receivers in football since he entered the league. So why trade him if the Titans were still hoping to compete? The answer is exactly what you think it is: money. Brown was seemingly in line for a fat new contract after Davante Adams, DK Metcalf, and Tyreek Hill all signed major deals, but the Titans reportedly didn't want to pay him one themselves.

So they traded Brown on draft night and used the 18th overall pick from the Eagles to select wide receiver Treylon Burks. The Eagles then signed Brown to a four-year, $100 extension, which gave Brown around $5 million more per year than the Titans were willing to pay him.

Deciding to punt on the first round of the NFL draft is what allowed Roseman to get Brown on his team. And his willingness to pay good money to good players is why Brown will be in Philly for years to come. But the Titans deciding that Brown was too rich for their blood is what truly allowed this to happen. The Titans are 4-2 and aren't completely bereft without Brown, but what was a financially motivated subtraction for them ended up being a major, trajectory-changing addition for the Eagles, who will end Week 8 as the only undefeated team in the NFL.

Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown had a monster day against the Steelers, which is exactly why they traded their 2022 first-round draft pick to get him. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown had a monster day against the Steelers, which is exactly why they traded their 2022 first-round draft pick to get him. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)