Remember when Lane Johnson ripped the New England Patriots for being a “no-fun” organization after Super Bowl LII?
Let’s have another look at those remarks. Here’s what the Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle said of the Patriots:
“They’re successful, but when they go to interviews, they act like (expletive) robots,” Johnson said. “Hey, stop being a (expletive) head. We can be cordial for a little bit. You only get to do this job one time, so let’s have fun while we’re doing it.
“Not to be reckless, but I’d much rather have fun and win a Super Bowl than be miserable and win five Super Bowls. But hey, it is what it is.”
Johnson then continued talking a similar brand of trash throughout the offseason.
Johnson, considered one of the NFL’s best tackles, was coming off a season in which he allowed only three sacks. Plus, his team just won its first Super Bowl in franchise history. As far as trash-talk qualifiers go, those are pretty good.
This season has been a different story for Mr. “Fun” and his happy-go-lucky Eagles, however.
The Eagles lost 23-21 to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, dropping to 2-3 on the season and third in the NFC East standings. And Johnson again was part of the problem.
Johnson surrendered one sack, one hit and two hurries for a total of four quarterback pressures allowed, per Pro Football Focus. He’s allowed 23 pressures this season, tied for third highest in the NFL, including an NFL-worst five sacks.
By most statistical measures, Johnson has been one of the NFL’s worst tackles this season.
Still having fun, Lane? Still rather win one Super Bowl than put in the “miserable” work necessary to win multiple titles? Still scoff at how the Patriots have achieved unparalleled sustained success?
FS1’s Colin Cowherd took Johnson to task during Monday’s episode of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.”
Johnson’s trash talk was profoundly misguided on its own. But the 28-year-old’s inability to put his money where his mouth is has made him look even worse.
Of course, Johnson’s comments weren’t completely without merit. By now, most can agree that the rumored friction within the Patriots is at least somewhat real, and there’s a chance it derails what’s been perhaps the greatest dynasty in professional sports history. (That last part is important, Lane.)
Furthermore, the 3-2 Patriots haven’t exactly looked like a well-oiled machine through five weeks. They more than deserve the benefit of the doubt, however, given the franchise’s track record.
Johnson and the Eagles could turn things around, the Patriots could implode before our eyes and we could look foolish for ripping the outspoken lineman. Or the reverse could happen — and Johnson wouldn’t care, because candid interviews apparently are his No. 1 priority.
And hey, that’s his prerogative. Some players would rather just shut up and dominate for two decades.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, go to ProFootballFocus.com.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images