The Indianapolis Colts find their selves in a unique spot coming into Sunday's showdown with New England Patriots. After making an abrupt QB change and firing their offensive coordinator this is a team surrounded by question marks regarding the direction they're heading in. The New England Patriots also find themselves in an unfamiliar spot. Currently, the Patriots are in last place in the AFC East, but with a record of 4-4, they still remain in the thick of things once they get their quarterback situation figured out. For this piece, I very well could have written about the matchup of Bill Belichek vs Sam Ehlinger, given Bill’s history of wrecking young quarterbacks, but since this series has been about players, I’ll tell you why I chose Jakobi Myers.
Jakobi Myers, the undrafted receiver out of NC State, has made quite a career for himself. Signed by the Patriots in 2019 he has played well when his name was called and carved out a role in this offense. Gaining over 700 yards in each of the last two seasons he’s been on the verge of breaking out and now it seems like he’s finally reached that point. Jakobi Myers, through 6 games this year, has 35 catches, 415 yards, and 3 touchdowns. The Patriots are 4-2 in the games he’s played in and he’s been fairly consistent, only having 1 game he’s failed to reach 50 yards. While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, try to remember he’s been doing this while the Pats have been cycling back and forward between quarterbacks.
Jakobi Myers beats his opponents in a couple of different ways. He is not a speed demon that is gonna line up and runs past you, but instead, he runs really good routes and uses smooth footwork in and out of his breaks to create separation as seen here
At 6’2, what he is truly best at is making contested catches and high pointIng the football as you can see here
Mac Jones takes a deep shot to Jakobi Myers and connects pic.twitter.com/7Ji5Qs2U4C— Patriots Nation (@PatsNationCP) January 10, 2022
To help limit Jakobi Myers in this game is to have Stephon Gilmore matched up with him as much as possible. Gilmore has great size for a boundary corner and loves to go up against those bigger physical guys. Aside from the meltdown on the play to Terry McLaurin (which I stand on him not having to cover a guy for 8 seconds) he has been good in not allowing any big plays. Gilmore will be physical with him at the line of scrimmage, eliminating any kind of timing route Mac Jones may try to throw him. When Myers gets matched up with Isaiah Rodgers, look for New England to attack with those 50/50 balls trying to generate a big play out of the size advantage that Myers has over Rodgers. This New England offense is not explosive at all and will try to use the run to set up the pass. If the Colts can make them one-dimensional early on, that will go a long way to helping them slow down Myers and the passing attack.