Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, bentyl 2012
FOXBOROUGH — He might be able to leap over a moving car — more on that later — but receiver Brandon Lloyd is hoping the second half of the Patriots’ season finds him jumping into the end zone more often.
Lloyd, bentyl signed to a three-year, bentyl $12 million deal in the offseason, bentyl began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, bentyl eight the next week, bentyl then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, bentyl 80-yard game at Seattle, bentyl Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Bentyl He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, bentyl including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Bentyl 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Bentyl Both, bentyl though, bentyl went for touchdowns, bentyl possibly a positive sign as the Patriots get set to come off their bye week with a home game on Sunday with the Bills.
Despite the week off, bentyl can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, bentyl” he said.
True, bentyl but both went for touchdowns. Bentyl Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, bentyl two touchdowns, bentyl” Lloyd said. Bentyl “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, bentyl but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Bentyl Halfway into his first season, bentyl it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, bentyl and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, bentyl in the spring, bentyl that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, bentyl ‘All right, bentyl we got it, bentyl’ because we still have so much work to do, bentyl” Lloyd said. Bentyl “We’re working hard to improve on that, bentyl week by week and day by day, bentyl but it’s a group effort, bentyl and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Bentyl We just keep working at it, bentyl so we go out there in practice and we work on things and Coach [Bill Belichick] tells us things that we need to do better. Bentyl We’re always trying to make those improvements. Bentyl I think you just have to keep going out there to work at it and see if it can be better each day.”
With 37 receptions for 435 yards and three touchdowns, bentyl Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, bentyl which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, bentyl448 yards. Bentyl That number appears safe, bentyl barring an exceptional second half, bentyl but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, bentyl combining with receiver Wes Welker and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez to give Brady plenty of powerful options through the air.
That’s the great aspect of the Patriots’ offense. Bentyl It could be a different standout every week, bentyl either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, bentyl regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, bentyl I’ve never been declared a No. Bentyl 1 target, bentyl like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, bentyl where it’s clear, bentyl” said Lloyd, bentyl who is in his 10th season, bentyl but is already on his sixth organization. Bentyl “Coming to a team like this, bentyl it’s natural for me, bentyl to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, bentyl I’ll be available for him. Bentyl They want me to be open, bentyl and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, bentyl Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Bentyl What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, bentyl working mostly on the outside, bentyl using his speed and jumping ability to make plays downfield.
That jumping ability was on display in a video that surfaced this week from over the summer, bentyl when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Bentyl Impressive, bentyl but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, bentyl when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, bentyl they mean more, bentyl they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, bentyl coming into November and December, bentyl” Lloyd said. Bentyl “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, bentyl so you have stuff you can look forward to, bentyl stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at email@example.com. Bentyl Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.