Tom Brady doesn’t grade on a curve.
Undrafted rookie receiver Jakobi Meyers is aware.
“That has probably been one of the toughest things about being here,” Meyers told reporters of gaining the 42-year-old quarterback’s trust on Sunday. “But I am going to keep working at it, not give up and hopefully I keep chipping away each day.”
Meyers continued to chip away in the New England Patriots’ 13-9 waterlogged win over the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium.
The former North Carolina State QB recruit caught four passes for a career-high 74 yards, with Brady finding him twice on third down.
But there’s been something to find on all three downs this fall. Brady is 19-of-27 when throwing to the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Meyers. And while six of those connections have come on first down, eight have come on second down and five more have come on third down.
BY-THE-DOWN TARGETS FROM BRADY
- First down: 6-of-9 for three conversions, 88 yards, with three of 20-plus
- Second down: 8-of-11 for five conversions, 112 yards, with three of 20-plus
- Third down: 5-of-7 for five conversions, 53 yards, with one of 20-plus
The results have seen the Patriots move the sticks 13 times, generate seven chunk plays of 20-plus yards and tally 253 yards.
“He’s done a great job,” Brady said of Meyers during his Monday appearance on WEEI’s Greg Hill Show. “I mean, he’s come in as an undrafted free agent. And [to] make the plays that he made all spring, and then make the plays that he’s made this season, I think it’s been so impressive. I can’t say enough good things about Jakobi.”
The lone undrafted Patriots rookie to exceed Meyers’ catch and yardage totals during Brady’s tenure remains Kenbrell Thompkins. By way of El Camino College and the University of Cincinnati, Thompkins finished 2013 with 32 receptions for 466 yards and four touchdowns.
Thompkins and Brady had a completion rate of 46.4 percent that regular season.
Meyers and Brady have a completion rate of 70.3 percent this regular season.
It showed on a night both Phillip Dorsett and Mohamed Sanu were inactive, with a concussion and an ankle injury, respectively. It showed as Brady’s pass attempts sprayed as much as they spiraled and hit turf as often as hands.
Only Julian Edelman, battling through a shoulder injury, garnered more attempts from Brady than Meyers against Dallas.
A pair slipped away from the latter Patriots wideout. But Meyers slipped away from a pair of Cowboys tackles on a drag route for 32 yards. He reeled in 23 yards on third-and-8 over pattern before intermission. A whip route sent Meyers up the right sideline and stretching beyond the sticks in the fourth quarter. And the NFL’s preseason receptions leader helped set up kicker Nick Folk’s final field goal by getting nine on a third-and-7 out.
“He cares deeply about doing the right thing, and you love to have teammates like that,” added Brady. “I’m just so happy for him and the opportunity he’s getting.”
Edelman played 68 of New England’s 70 offensive snaps on Sunday night. First-round pick N’Keal Harry, who reeled in the game’s only touchdown, played 57.
Meyers played 54 between the inside and out.
“He wants to do a great job,” said Brady. “He wants to do everything right, and he holds himself to a high standard. It’s just great to have him out there, and great to see him doing good things for us.”