In the weeks leading up to  Super Bowl 52, the Philadelphia Eagles were more playful than their New England Patriots counterparts. Players were showing up to interviews in dog masks. Deals were being struck with Bud Light for free beer for the entire city. By all accounts, the Eagles players were making sure to have some fun before the big game.

The Patriots, meanwhile, were their usual dour selves. Bill Belichick’s trademark interview style was out in the full force. Tom Brady spent much time before the game dealing with things people were saying about his kids. There was a sense of business-as-usual for the Pats, who were playing in their eighth Super Bowl in 17 years.

Those diametric sensibilities were on display during the game. The Patriots seemed tight at times and their attempts at trick plays reeked of desperation. The Eagles, meanwhile, seemed more willing to play fast and loose. Their trick plays seemed to come from a place of excitement.

Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson appeared on the Pardon My Take podcast this week and he dug the nail in a little deeper by accusing the Patriots of playing from fear, which is why they lost last weekend.

“I just think that the Patriot Way is a fear-based organization. Obviously, do they win? Hell yes, they win. They’ve won for a long time. Do I think people enjoy and can say, ‘I had a lot of fun playing there?’ No, I don’t. That’s just the God’s honest truth.”

Johnson went on to say that the way the Patriots deal with the media is a reflection of this idea.

“They’re successful, but when they go to interviews, they act like f—ing robots. Hey, stop being a d—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.”

That last sentence is sure to be up for debate in certain Boston-area sports bars right now, but Johnson is really just making it abundantly clear that, for him, there’s more to the way he measures success other than just racking up Super Bowls.

Just to make sure that he never ends up signing with the Patriots at some point in the future, he also had some parting shots for Tom Brady, who he had called a “pretty boy” before the big game.

The Eagles and Patriots are currently favored to return to the Super Bowl next season. If that does happen, something tells us these comments may just come back around. And something tells us Johnson will be just fine with that.


About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed,, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.