The good news for Lane Johnson is that his knee feels healthy and ready for the start of the 2019 season. He doesn't even anticipate having to play through pain on Sunday.
Powered by NBC Sports Philadelphia
The bad news is he has to face one of the most underrated pass rushers in the league in Week 1.
Another meeting with Ryan Kerrigan.
"It sucks," Johnson said, drawing some laughter Monday. "Just a guy that's relentless. He doesn't stop and that's the mentality I'm going against. As far as going against him, I have to match it."
With another matchup against Kerrigan coming this Sunday, I was able to dig up this stat, which is pretty impressive.
Washington pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan has played the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys each 16 times in his career. He has 11 1/2 sacks against each of his NFC East opponents.
That's pretty impressive. — Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) September 2, 2019
Overall, it's fair to say Kerrigan is one of the most underrated pass rushers in the NFL. The 31-year-old is a four-time Pro Bowler and is fifth among active players in sacks with 84 1/2 (he's 13th all-time in sacks against the Eagles).
"I just know that anytime I go against him, you gotta be on your A-game," Johnson said. "In this league, you can't really slack and if you do, you'll get exposed. As far as him, he's a class act, a fearless competitor and really the heartbeat of their team. It's another game against him. Another one of many."
While those 11 1/2 sacks against the Eagles in his career might lead you to believe he's tormented them, he hasn't really tormented Johnson. They've had their battles, but the Eagles' Pro Bowl right tackle wins more often than not.
Take a look at when Kerrigan has picked up all 11 1/2 of those sacks against the Eagles in his career:
2011 - 0
2012 - 3
2013 - 1
2014 - 1
2015 - 1
2016 - 3.5
2017 - 1
2018 - 1
You know what Kerrigan's two biggest sack years against the Eagles have in common? No Johnson. Kerrigan picked up three sacks in 2012, the year before Johnson was drafted. And then he picked up 3 1/2 in 2016 while Johnson was serving his 10-game PED suspension.
The Eagles crushed Washington in 2018, outscoring them 52-13 in their two meetings, but they saw Washington after the tailspin already started. That offense is an unknown with Case Keenum, but their defense should be pretty good in 2019. It starts with a solid defensive line, led by Kerrigan.
The last time the Eagles began their season against Washington was in 2017. It was the first win in a 13-win Super Bowl season.
What does Johnson think about starting the season with a division opponent this year?
"I guess we ain't got no choice," Johnson said. "It's good. Get that win, it definitely kicks off the year right. That's our focus and our goal."
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.