The Baltimore Ravens had a chance to snap their four-game losing streak with less than a minute left in Week 17. However, their late comeback effort against the Los Angeles Rams was thwarted by a familiar foe.
Trailing by one point and needing a field goal to win, backup quarterback Tyler Huntley was sacked by Rams’ outside linebacker Von Miller. Huntley lost eight yards on the play after the Ravens had just used their third and final timeout.
The player that Miller beat around the edge for the clutch takedown was third-year pro Patrick Mekari. Even though he made the game-winning play against him, the former Super Bowl MVP and future Hall of Famer offered up tremendous respect for the versatile offensive lineman.
“Yes, [Patrick] Mekari, the right tackle, he’s one of the best right tackles in the league,” Miller said. “I played him earlier in the season in Denver, and I feel like he got my number. I was telling the guys all week that I’ve got a bone to pick.”
Before he was traded to the Rams on Nov. 2, just before the midseason deadline, Miller played the first seven games of the 2021 regular season for the Denver Broncos. He faced the Ravens for the first time in Week 4 and was held to just half a sack, one quarterback hit, and one tackle for loss. Many assumed he would wreak havoc on an inexperienced Mekari who, at the time, was making just his third career start at right tackle.
Miller isn’t wrong in his assertion of Mekari’s high level of play this season and his Pro Football Focus grades thus far support such lofty praise. The former undrafted gem has played 702 total snaps this season and has earned an overall grade of 67, a pass-blocking grade of 73.2 and a run-blocking grade of 58.3. He’s allowed just four sacks, one quarterback hit, and 23 total pressures.
Mekari has worn many hats, played several positions along the offensive line, and started 24 of a possible 37 games during his first three years with the Ravens. His impressive play, toughness through a pair of injuries this season, and five-position versatility earned him three more years in Baltimore — as the team signed him to a contract extension last Thursday.