Lane Johnson loves these kinds of matchups. On Monday night, he'll play a long-time rival, Washington's Ryan Kerrigan, who has been a bit of an Eagles-killer in his career. Kerrigan has registered 10.5 career sacks in 14 games against the Eagles and brings his energy to Lincoln Financial Field for an NFC East game.
Has Kerrigan, a three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher who has 79.5 career sacks slowed down at all in his eighth NFL season? Johnson thinks the opposite, actually.
"I think his get-off is even better than it was last year," Johnson said. "I know he's dealing with some ankle issues, but he's looking as explosive as ever. He's a guy that has a high motor. He doesn't stop. Every game, you can't let off on this guy. That's what kind of guy he is. He's a quiet leader over there. He's been getting the job done for years and he's always a good battle for me."
Kerrigan is just one of many challenges for the Eagles as Washington brings one of the NFL's best front sevens to South Philadelphia on Monday night. Johnson has watched miles of film on Kerrigan over the years, so you wonder just what he could learn by watching even more ahead of this game.
The two have danced long enough to know each other's every move.
"He's seen everything from me, I've seen everything from him. We know what it is," Johnson said. "I enjoy playing against the guy. He's a classy guy, a great player. I love playing against great players. I think anytime you go against guys of that caliber, it only brings out the best in you. It has to if you want to perform well."
Washington's entire defense will be a tough test for an Eagles offense trying to find its groove. Getting something going early would be ideal.
"They're fast at linebacker, they're good on the back end, and they've got all kinds of talent up front," Johnson said. "We've got our work cut out for us."