The Philadelphia Eagles are struggling mightily in their Super Bowl title defense, while the team they beat to claim the franchise's first championship is back to business as usual.
Yes, the Patriots are 7-3 and sit atop the AFC East entering Week 12 despite coming off a disapppinting loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. It's a familiar spot for the Patriots, who have won 10 or more games in 15 (!) consecutive seasons. The Eagles, meanwhile, are 4-6 and aren't likely to make the playoffs after a horrendous 48-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Lane Johnson had plenty of trash talk for the Patriots after the Eagles beat them in the Super Bowl, and even though the Pats are doing better than his Eagles this season, Philly's offensive lineman still isn't ready to believe in the "Patriot Way."
“I don’t think it’s a 'We're,' I think it’s a Number 12. That’s what I think, personally,” Johnson said, per ESPN's Tim McManus. “I don’t know how everything is going to tie up after he retires, but I think he is a big reason for the success up there, that’s what I think.”
Later in McManus' article, Johnson further explained why the Patriots' success has more to do with Brady than anything or anyone else.
“I think Number 12 is probably the best player that has ever played,” Johnson said. “You get that unique individual like that, you add a supporting cast around but you’ve seen people come and go throughout the years and one thing has remained constant throughout the whole equation.”
These aren't surprising remarks from Johnson. It would have been pretty weak to backtrack on his previous statement on the "Patriot Way," especially given the confidence he spoke with when he made the original comments.
Johnson was wrong when he first made the comments and he's still wrong today. The "Patriot Way" mantra is real, and while Brady is the biggest reason for New England's enormous success since 2000, many other players and the greatest coach in NFL history also have made a huge difference. The team's culture fuels that success.
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