Interpretations are a funny thing. One comment can elicit so many different thoughts and reactions.
Case in point, a seemingly innocent Twitter message sent out by Lane Johnson.
The Eagles starting right tackle may have fired the first shot in the always-budding and never-ending Patriots-Eagles rivalry late Sunday night when he said: “Gonna have some fun at the Linc in 2 weeks!” The time stamp on the post was marked 11:34 p.m. so it clearly happened after the Ravens beat the Patriots 37-20 on “Sunday Night Football.”
Was Johnson stirring the pot? Maybe. That’s the way the majority of Patriots fans interpreted it and took to social media in droves to let Johnson know it. The Eagles and Patriots battle on Nov. 17 at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles and Patriots are both enjoying their bye weeks in Week 10, so Johnson won’t have an opportunity to clarify what he meant to reporters. The last time these two teams met in the regular season was 2015 when the Eagles won 35-27 at Gillette Stadium.
Johnson Has Long-Standing Feud with New England
This isn’t the first time Lane Johnson has taken shots at New England.
After the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, he went on “Pardon My Take” and called them a “fear-based organization.” Johnson referred to Patriots players as “robots” who don’t really enjoy winning, unlike an Eagles team that had fun every step of the way en route to the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl title.
“I just think that The Patriot Way is a fear-based organization,” Johnson told Barstool Sports. “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.”
The comments led to a brief back and forth, punctuated by Patriots safety Duron Harmon and linebacker Kyle Van Noy clapping back at Johnson following their victory in last year’s Super Bowl.
Freddie Mitchell Started the Rivalry in 2005
The real roots of the Patriots-Eagles rivalry were planted in 2005 by an unlikely voice.
Former Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell actually sowed the seeds of discord when he challenged Patriots safety Rodney Harrison prior to Super Bowl XXXIX. Mitchell, a first-round pick in 2001, pretended not to know the names of the Patriots defensive backs and then infamously said, “I got something for you, Harrison.”
Harrison, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and borderline Hall-of-Famer, called Mitchell “immature” and used the receiver’s words as motivation in that game. The retired star apparently held onto the grudge for 13 years as he brought it up again right before the Eagles played the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
“Thank you, Freddie Mitchell,” said Harrison in 2018, via NBC10’s John Clark. “Without you running your mouth, we wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl.”
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