Dolphins’ Jakeem Grant proves playmaking ability with touchdown vs. Patriots

Jakeem Grant made one of the biggest plays of his career. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

MIAMI GARDENS—He’s been thinking it from the moment the Dolphins drafted him and he hasn’t been shy about saying it. Jakeem Grant sees himself as much more than a return man, and he validated that confidence with a big touchdown catch in the 27-20 win over the Patriots on Monday.

Grant was so sure this moment would come, on national television no less, that he told his children he’d do it.

“I promised my kids I would score a touchdown for them and I had to,” he said. “I was hungry. I was hungry enough to get that touchdown and come down with it.”

Grant’s first career touchdown catch was a thing of beauty and it put the Dolphins ahead 20-10 late in the third quarter.

He sprinted past Butler right off the line of scrimmage on a go route and leaped above him in the back left corner of the end zone for the touchdown. It was one of three touchdown passes on the night for Jay Cutler.

Grant’s been working toward that opportunity, but hasn’t gotten many outside of preseason games.

“It means a lot and it feels great,” he said of finally doing it in a game. “I don’t care about the outside, but I just wanted to make those plays for the team. They definitely knew I could make those plays, but actually going out there and doing it and proving myself means a lot to me. That’s just the first step up the ladder. Now I have to make more plays just like it.

He had another catch against the Patriots for 17 yards and got some snaps at running back. He had another chance at a long touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it went through his hands.

“I had to just look it in,” he said, still smarting over it. “Instead of sticking my hands out too early, I should’ve just ran through it and used my speed and caught it with my arms. I let that one get away from me, and it hurts. That could’ve been another touchdown and it could’ve been a big play for the team. I definitely wish I could have that one back.”

One of the best highlights for Grant took place after the game.

As the Dolphins poured onto the field to celebrate the victory, owner Stephen Ross stopped Grant on his way off the field, hugged him and exhorted him to keep it going.

“That’s my guy,” Grant said. “He was just telling me, ‘Here’s the start to your career.’ It’s a step on the ladder. It definitely feels good.”

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