This past Sunday’s impressive, unforeseen victory over the vaunted Baltimore Ravens saw the New England Patriots play two different quarterbacks.
The first was starting quarterback Cameron Newton. Newton had a quite solid game, running and throwing the ball well, controlling the pace of the game, and being the emotional leader he has been for the offense the whole year. A fantastic performance.
The other man was Jakobi Meyers. Meyer’s efforts drew many an eye, were heaped with praise, and propelled the Pats to victory. Only one question remains: is he elite? Let’s dive in, using the normal standards applied to such lauded quarterback play.
On paper, Meyers had an all-time game at quarterback. First of all, his completion percentage was 100%. You know how many quarterbacks have a 100% completion percentage? None (I’m guessing). He was brutally efficient with the football. Implied in this stat, of course, lies also the fact that he threw no interceptions. Say what you want about young Jakobi Meyers but he does not turn the ball over.
But what about points, you ask? Surely I will shy away from whether or not Meyers was able to put points on the board. Alas, I shall not. Jakobi Meyers also has a perfect rate of passes thrown compared to touchdowns thrown. Imagine that? On the one pass he threw, the Patriots also scored. That is literal football alchemy. An uncanny ability to put up 6.
This, for me, is the easiest non-statistical category to discuss as it is the most purely measurable, all things considered. Meyers threw the ball almost (always; on his one pass) from the near side of the field, He did so almost (completely) exclusively off his back foot, as he was facing tremendous pressure from a rabid Ravens defense. He then heaved the ball almost THIRTY (24 plus a few into the end zone) yards down and ACROSS the field to an awaiting Rex Burkhead. I mean, how many passes in the NFL REALLY travel more than 30 yards in the air? Not too many. Jakobi has a hose.
Despite the above circumstances he was facing, Meyers delivered a ball Burkhead and only Burkhead and absolutely Burkhead could get his hands on. If he put any less loft on it the defender bearing down on him could have possibly leaped up and swatted it down before it ever reached the trenches. A lower trajectory could have also given the linebacker covering Burkhead, Patrick Queen, a chance at breaking the play up. Instead, Meyers dropped a can of corn directly down into Burkhead’s bread basket, allowing him to secure the ball and tumble safely to the turf. Perfect.
It’s 20/20. All of the talent in the world is not going to get a QB in the NFL anywhere if he can’t read defenses/coverages. That isn’t a problem Jakobi Meyers, just ask the man he may have (probs not) supplanted in Cameron Newton. Meyers was facing extreme pressure. He possibly didn’t have the time to get it to Burkhead. The problem? Well, according to Cam, Meyers read that his checkdown, Newton actually, had been immediately picked up by a defender in coverage and just didn’t have the shake and bake in him to get loose. So not only was the toss to Burkhead an incredible one, but it was the product of an excellent read and a ballsy decision. Can’t just throw it away and ruin that perfect completion percentage.
Here is a list of shit Jakobi Meyers does better than other notable QBs
-Doesn’t catch quasi-STDs at prom at age 20 (Sam Darnold)
-Has all his appendages (Dak Prescott, Alex Smith)
-Does not have a unibrow (Joe Flacco, Anthony Davis**not a QB but Jesus man)
-Pays for seafood (Jameis Winston)
-Intact chest cavity (Drew Brees)
-Not an old (Tampa QB)
-Has not been forced into retirement (Entire Manning family)
-Not given his job “just for his looks” (Jimmy G)
-Flexibility of not having 17 kids (Philip Rivers)
-Career not ended in high school by a combination of systematic sports medicine malpractice and devastating injury (Lance Harbor)
Listen. Listen. When I set out to write this blog (on Monday) I didn’t know how it was going to end up. I was just a man with a keyboard and some game film to watch, albeit in my head. But I broke things down to the sum of their parts. I considered the greats of ours and past generations. I thought of Drew Bledsoe and how he now just owns vineyards, which was wicked off topic but something I pondered about nonetheless. And I have to say it. Between efficiency, arm talent, and the excellence of that thing between his ears, Jakobi Meyers man. He might be…..