By Mike Fine, buy ansaid The Patriot Ledger
FOXBORO — A week removed from his one-reception performance in a win at Miami, buy ansaid Brandon Lloyd might have been doing handstands after the Patriots’ 42-14 blowout win over the Houston Texans Monday night at Gillette Stadium.
Lloyd had just resurrected himself with seven catches for 89 yards, buy ansaid including a season-best 37-yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady. Buy ansaid He even recovered a fumble in the end zone to cement the game early in the fourth quarter. Buy ansaid Two touchdowns in the biggest game of the season and Lloyd acted like he’d done nothing more than buy a can of Coke at 7-Eleven. Buy ansaid It just wasn’t a big deal.
What does the win – the Pats’ seventh straight – say about the team, buy ansaid he was asked?
“I don’t know, buy ansaid” he said.
It means you’re pretty good, buy ansaid he was reminded, buy ansaid as if he didn't realize the Texans, buy ansaid who were 11-1 and had also won six straight, buy ansaid were just another game on the schedule.
“Obviously, buy ansaid the Texans are a good football team and we did a pretty good job of executing for the first half for the most part, buy ansaid but we still have things we need to improve on, buy ansaid” he said. Buy ansaid “I think we had a great week of practice and we did the things that were necessary to come out and execute well and it was a team effort.”
Lloyd was obviously practicing the Patriots’ way of saying something but saying nothing, buy ansaid which is a shame since he was quite enthusiastic earlier in the season. Buy ansaid It was a shame because he certainly had something to celebrate after this decisive win.
At 2:49 of the first quarter, buy ansaid the Pats having scored on a Brady-to-Aaron Hernandez 7-yard pass, buy ansaid Lloyd headed out into the flats and kept on running. Buy ansaid Brady lofted a perfectly arched ball that fell into Lloyd’s hands, buy ansaid and he was off for the end zone, buy ansaid giving the Pats a 14-0 start. Buy ansaid “Yeah that was definitely a scheme play, buy ansaid” he said, buy ansaid “and we worked hard on that all week and when the opportunity presented itself and coach (Josh) McDaniels called it at the right time, buy ansaid and we were able to take advantage of it.”
“That was well executed, buy ansaid” said coach Bill Belichick. Buy ansaid “That was great protection, buy ansaid great run fake, buy ansaid and Brandon got a couple of steps behind the secondary and Tom hit him. Buy ansaid The players did a good job on that.”
Not only was it big for the team, buy ansaid but also for Lloyd. Buy ansaid A week earlier he’d been targeted only once, buy ansaid capping a six-game string of games in which he came up with only 16 receptions. Buy ansaid In the first six games of the season he came up with 34.
There were questions about his ability to create separation from defenders, buy ansaid and even his ability to mesh with Brady, buy ansaid so this performance seemed to slam the door on those thoughts. Buy ansaid Yet Lloyd said he had no idea how involved he’d be for this game. Buy ansaid He said he had no thoughts about having such a big game, buy ansaid either. Buy ansaid “I don’t know how many yards I had.”
As for clicking with Brady once again: “I mean, buy ansaid we’re just executing the plays. Buy ansaid I haven’t seen the film, buy ansaid but I don’t really have any comments about it right now.”
Lloyd kept his head in the game nicely, buy ansaid though, buy ansaid and when Danny Woodhead made a nice run, buy ansaid only to have the ball poked out of his hands 45 seconds into the fourth quarter, buy ansaid Lloyd was on the spot to fall on the ball in the end zone.
“I don’t know, buy ansaid” he said, buy ansaid when asked about that play. Buy ansaid “It was a screen pass and I’m just doing my best to block downfield and the ball popped out. Buy ansaid Pretty much all I know right now. Buy ansaid As long as it puts points on the board. Buy ansaid It doesn’t really matter how they come.”
Not too high, buy ansaid not too low, buy ansaid that’s how Lloyd played the game Monday night. Buy ansaid We’ll never know exactly how he feels about the performance or about his team. Buy ansaid “I don’t know. Buy ansaid I think coach Bill has a better gauge on the pulse of the team, buy ansaid” he said.
Mike Fine may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.