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Jakobi Meyers deserves the criticism he’s gotten for his decision to literally throw away a game. But the New England Patriots receiver has to get some credit for owning up to his costly mistake.

Meyers authored the most poorly-executed and completely unnecessary lateral Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. His blunder proved costly and will go down as one of the biggest blunders in NFL history, but Meyers faced the media and didn’t hide from it.

Jakobi Meyers made a mistake that will live in infamy

Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers of the New England Patriots catches a lateral pass from running back Rhamondre Stevenson as cornerback Amik Robertson #21 and safeties Duron Harmon #30 and Isaiah Pola-Mao #20 of the Las Vegas Raiders defend on the last play of the game at Allegiant Stadium on December 18, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

It shouldn’t have been a desperate attempt to score. The game was tied, and it appeared the Patriots and Raiders were headed to overtime. A simple kneel-down would have sufficed.

Instead, the Patriots played hero ball. The Patriots appeared to go conservative on the final play of regulation and send the game into overtime. With the game tied 24-24, running back Rhamondre Stevenson broke free from inside New England territory to the Vegas 31. With no time on the clock, Stevenson lateraled the ball to Meyers before he was tackled.

Meyers then inexplicably lofted a backward pass intended for quarterback Mac Jones, who was standing near midfield. The ball was picked off by Vegas defender Chandler Jones, who returned the ball 48 yards for a touchdown.

The Raiders, who has just scored the game-tying touchdown with 32 seconds left in the game, secured the improbable victory as New England’s playoff hopes took a severe hit. New England fell to 7-7. Vegas improved to 6-8.

Meyers owned up to his costly blunder

Meyers and the Patriots were crucified on social media. Many called Meyers’ decision to throw the ball nearly 20 yards backward, with the game tied, one of the dumbest plays they’ve seen.

Immediately after the game, Meyers was surrounded by the media and was forced to explain his thought process. He accepted responsibility and didn’t dodge any questions.

Meyers took question after question, answering them like a pro. He was asked if the plan was to lateral the ball.

“Nah,” Meyers answered, per Zack Cox of NESN. “Just trying to do too much. Just trying to be a hero, I guess.


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“I didn’t see the dude back there. Just trying to throw the ball. I should’ve just went down.”

He then was asked if there was any communication to throw the ball backward after he took the initial lateral from Stevenson.

“No, that was just me,” he said. “I promise you. That was just me trying to make a play.”

He admitted the plan on the final play was to run the ball, go down, and go to overtime.

“I got the ball, and I tried to make a play,” he said.

Meyers was asked if he was surprised Stevenson lateraled him the ball in the first place.

“It wasn’t his fault,” he said. “He gave me the ball. I got to be smart with it.”

It’s a learning process for Meyers, but it’s also a costly one that puts New England’s playoff chances in serious jeopardy.