Ex-Patriot Praises Jakobi Meyers For Accountability After Blunder

'This is how you acknowledge a bad play in a tough situation'


Dec 19, 2022

Jakobi Meyers made the biggest mistake of his NFL career Sunday in Las Vegas. But the Patriots receiver owned it in a way many other players would not have.

After New England’s 30-24 loss to the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium, a teary-eyed Meyers stood at his locker and fielded a series of questions about his role in the game’s final sequence: an ill-advised, multi-lateral play that resulted in a game-winning defensive touchdown for Vegas linebacker Chandler Jones.

Meyers admitted he was “trying to do too much and trying to be a hero” on the play. He knew the score was tied, he said, and that simply falling down or running out of bounds would have sent the game to overtime. He also said the play relayed in the huddle didn’t call for any lateraling, dispeling the notion that those might have been intended by play-caller Matt Patricia.

Multiple Patriots leaders voiced their support for Meyers after the game, and his accountability won him fans outside of New England’s locker room, as well. Among those who commended the veteran wideout for his handling of the unfortunate situation was former Patriot Ben Watson, who overlapped with Meyers during the 2019 season.

“This is how you acknowledge a bad play in a tough situation,” the retired tight end tweeted Sunday night. “Kobi is a great young player that has worked tremendously hard to be a dependable difference maker for this team. Loved being his teammate his rookie year and can’t wait to see all he will continue to accomplish.”

Meyers received similar praise from other current and former NFL players.

Running back Rhamondre Stevenson also blamed himself for the disastrous final play.

After a draw play intended to drain the final seconds of regulation, Stevenson lateraled to Meyers rather than allowing himself to be tackled by Raiders defenders. Meyers then passed the ball backward toward quarterback Mac Jones but found Chandler Jones instead. The linebacker stiff-armed the Patriots QB and ran 48 yards for the first walk-off, game-winning fumble recovery touchdown by a defensive player in NFL history.

Earlier, the Patriots had rallied for 21 consecutive points to erase a 17-3 halftime deficit, with a 39-yard Meyers reception setting up Stevenson’s go-ahead 34-yard touchdown with 3:43 remaining. Las Vegas responded with a nine-play, 81-yard drive capped by a controversial game-tying touchdown pass to Keelan Cole, then won after Meyers’ and Stevenson’s last-second gaffes.

Meyers and Stevenson are the Patriots’ two best and most reliable offensive skill players, adding to the gut punch of Sunday’s loss.

The 7-7 Patriots will look to remain alive in the AFC playoff hunt when they host the 10-4 Cincinnati Bengals this Saturday.

Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
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