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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots were playing out the string Sunday against the New York Jets, so why not empty their bag of tricks?
Trailing 14-7 late in the third quarter at the Jets’ 19-yard line, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called for trickery. Quarterback Cam Newton handed off to running back Sony Michel out of the shotgun, as Michel was coming from right to left. At the same time, receiver Jakobi Meyers was in motion, coming from left to right and ready for the lateral from Michel.
The Jets pursued the ball aggressively, forgetting about Newton, who released up the right side. That allowed Meyers to set his feet at the 30-yard line and deliver a soft, high-arcing touch pass to Newton at the 8-yard line.
Newton basically walked into the end zone from there.
Meyers, of course, was a quarterback at Arabia Mountain High School in Georgia and redshirted at that position at NC State before switching to receiver as a freshman. He is 2-for-2 for 43 yards passing this season and although he hasn’t caught a touchdown pass, he has thrown for two.
Meyers’ touchdown pass had an air distance of 31.3 yards, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, as he has two of the Patriots’ four longest pass plays in terms of air yards this season.
For Newton, it’s the first receiving touchdown of his career. Entering Sunday, he had two career receptions for 43 yards. He had one at Tampa Bay on Dec. 4, 2011, and added a 16-yarder this season.
It also is the first touchdown reception by a Patriots quarterback in team history.
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