Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers threw two touchdown passes for New England last season but has yet to catch a touchdown pass since his rookie preseason in 2019.
Although he is still searching for his first career regular-season touchdown, Meyers put the Pats ahead 13-0 with a 26-yard touchdown catch on a pass from quarterback Cam Newton.
The third-year wideout had three catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in Thursday night’s 35-0 win over the Eagles.
“It felt great. It’s a blessing just to be here, honestly, but crossing the goal line and the way my teammates celebrated with me, it’s something I’ll hold on to for a long time,” Meyers said after Thursday night’s win.
The Pats wideout credited offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for making a timely play call against an aggressive Eagles defense focused on stopping the run.
“They were playing it really aggressively in the run game. We had to make them respect it either way, so if you don’t respect me as a receiver, like I said, we have great coaches on our team. They recognize situations and put us in the best situation to win, and that’s what Josh did there.”
On the play, the Patriots ran play-action out of 21-personnel with fullback Jakob Johnson in the backfield. Expecting Philly’s safeties and linebackers to come downhill against the run, Meyers went across the field behind the second level of the defense. At the same time, wide receiver Nelson Agholor took the boundary corner on the left side and the deep safety upfield, leaving space for Meyers.
“It was a great play call honestly by Josh [McDaniels]. We saw how they were playing us so far on that first drive, and the safeties were just down. He called a good play and trusted me to have the ball in my hands and do something with it. I just had to make a good shake once I got it.”
Meyers is a constant contributor both in practice and on game day despite concerns about New England’s wide receiver corps. Although he isn’t the fastest receiver, Meyers has excellent short-area quickness and understands how to defeat coverage in the middle of the field.
The Patriots’ doubters say the team lacks a true number one receiver, but Meyers is developing into the type of go-to target between the numbers that typically thrive in New England.