By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Jakobi Meyers made a key play against the Seahawks, and it could open up more opportunities for the sophomore receiver when the Patriots take on the Raiders.
Meyers lined up wide on only seven offensive snaps in Seattle, but one of them was a crucial play on a drive that put the Patriots ahead in the game at the time. Facing third-and-6 from the Pats’ own 45-yard line on the opening drive of the third quarter, Meyers got the nod over N’Keal Harry in a three-receiver set. He ran a curl and got open just long enough for Cam Newton to target him. Despite tight coverage, Meyers held onto the ball and secured the first down. The Patriots ultimately came away from the drive with three points and an early-second-half lead.
It was a relatively small moment in a game full of bigger ones. But for Meyers and Newton, it’s a positive step toward the quarterback building trust with a piece of a young receiver group that had trouble doing the same with Tom Brady in 2019.
“I mean, hopefully [Newton] sees what I can do,” Meyers said Friday. “One catch can lead to two, two can lead to three. You never know how it goes. All I know is be ready for whenever my name is called, and we’ll see how it goes.”
Meyers has found himself fourth in the receiver pecking order behind Julian Edelman, Harry, and Damiere Byrd. But his usage does suggest more trust from the coaching staff than his snap count may indicate. Of his seven offensive snaps, three came on third downs. His catch may have shown enough to earn more opportunities in the passing game moving forward.
Newton targeted Edelman, Harry, and Byrd a combined 32 times against the Seahawks. He and the Patriots offense would benefit from adding reliable options to spread the ball around, and he sounds willing to do so as the opportunities arise.
“It’s about answering the bell when your number is called and it just so happened to be Julian. It just so happened to be N’Keal [Harry]. It just so happened to be Damiere [Byrd]. It just so happened to be Jakobi [Meyers],” Newton said. “It doesn’t matter who it is; it could have been me. We just have to make sure that we execute better.”
In addition to more targets for the tight ends in the passing game, Meyers could present the added dimension of a big inside receiver to complement Harry on the perimeter. Newton has already shown a willingness to look Meyers’ way in a crucial situation. The key, now, is to build upon the positives.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at firstname.lastname@example.org.