Even if it was just for one night, the Philadelphia Eagles’ organization was shaking its collective head last Thursday night when their first-round, fourth-overall 2013 NFL Draft pick was personally humiliated by the Kansas City Chiefs.
More specifically; rookie RT Lane Johnson was straight-up torched all game long by Chiefs Pro Bowl, powerhouse LB Justin Houston. The third-year pro absolutely went off in the Week 3, prime-time showdown, putting up a ‘Madden-worthy’ stat-line that read: 3.5 sacks, 7 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 3 pass deflections and two fumble recoveries.
Those are the types of numbers that are racked up mercilessly on a roster-dwindling, undrafted scrub; not a first-round pick. And Johnson is no ordinary offensive lineman; he is a quarterback-convert who houses some incredible athletic ability in a truly massive frame.
While I am rarely quick to panic when it comes to football, unlike the overwhelming majority of analysts and fans nationwide, this night-long trouncing of Johnson is certainly concerning. After looking solid through the first two weeks of 2013, Johnson regressed so much in Week 3 that his previous satisfactory showings were immediately forgotten.
And it wasn’t like Houston was fooling, deceiving or out-thinking Johnson, he was just taking the rookie to school in every way he knew how.
He beat him with speed. He beat him with power. He beat him with finesse. He beat him with foot-work. He straight-up, hands-down, no holds-barred, trounced the rookie and made it look like Johnson had no business being on a starting NFL o-line.
As of now, the jury is out on Johnson, and he will have to prove very quickly that the Thursday night ‘Justin Houston Show‘ was nothing more than a fluke.