During Doug Pederson’s tenure as the head coach, the Philadelphia Eagles are 9-2 with Lane Johnson starting. Prior to the Eagles win on Thursday, the Eagles were 2-8 when Lane Johnson was not in the starting lineup.
Johnson’s lack of presence was obvious from the beginning of the game. His replacement, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, was given the task of going up against one of the greatest Defensive Ends, Julius Peppers. On the first drive of the game, Vaitai was beat by Peppers, leading to a fumble. Carson Wentz did not see Peppers coming from behind him and thus lost the football. However, as the game progressed, Vaitai did a better job to protect his side of the line. Nevertheless, Wentz was under duress the entire game.
John has had a terrific 2017 season, giving up merely three sacks to date. Moreover, Johnson has been able to protect Wentz and establish a run game while facing elite pass rushers – Ryan Kerrigan in Washington, Justin Houston in Kansas City, Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram in Los Angeles, and Chandler Jones and Hassan Reddick of the Cardinals. When Lane Johnson is on the field, the Eagles are completely different team than when he is on the sideline. The Eagles take on the Washington Redskins in their next game; therefore, I look forward to seeing Lane Johnson take on Ryan Kerrigan.