By Mike Fine, cyclosporine The Patriot Ledger
FOXBORO — A week removed from his one-reception performance in a win at Miami, cyclosporine 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, cyclosporine including a season-best 37-yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady. Cyclosporine He even recovered a fumble in the end zone to cement the game early in the fourth quarter. Cyclosporine 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. Cyclosporine It just wasn’t a big deal.
What does the win – the Pats’ seventh straight – say about the team, cyclosporine he was asked?
“I don’t know, cyclosporine” he said.
It means you’re pretty good, cyclosporine he was reminded, cyclosporine as if he didn't realize the Texans, cyclosporine who were 11-1 and had also won six straight, cyclosporine were just another game on the schedule.
“Obviously, cyclosporine the Texans are a good football team and we did a pretty good job of executing for the first half for the most part, cyclosporine but we still have things we need to improve on, cyclosporine” he said. Cyclosporine “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, cyclosporine which is a shame since he was quite enthusiastic earlier in the season. Cyclosporine It was a shame because he certainly had something to celebrate after this decisive win.
At 2:49 of the first quarter, cyclosporine the Pats having scored on a Brady-to-Aaron Hernandez 7-yard pass, cyclosporine Lloyd headed out into the flats and kept on running. Cyclosporine Brady lofted a perfectly arched ball that fell into Lloyd’s hands, cyclosporine and he was off for the end zone, cyclosporine giving the Pats a 14-0 start. Cyclosporine “Yeah that was definitely a scheme play, cyclosporine” he said, cyclosporine “and we worked hard on that all week and when the opportunity presented itself and coach (Josh) McDaniels called it at the right time, cyclosporine and we were able to take advantage of it.”
“That was well executed, cyclosporine” said coach Bill Belichick. Cyclosporine “That was great protection, cyclosporine great run fake, cyclosporine and Brandon got a couple of steps behind the secondary and Tom hit him. Cyclosporine The players did a good job on that.”
Not only was it big for the team, cyclosporine but also for Lloyd. Cyclosporine A week earlier he’d been targeted only once, cyclosporine capping a six-game string of games in which he came up with only 16 receptions. Cyclosporine In the first six games of the season he came up with 34.
There were questions about his ability to create separation from defenders, cyclosporine and even his ability to mesh with Brady, cyclosporine so this performance seemed to slam the door on those thoughts. Cyclosporine Yet Lloyd said he had no idea how involved he’d be for this game. Cyclosporine He said he had no thoughts about having such a big game, cyclosporine either. Cyclosporine “I don’t know how many yards I had.”
As for clicking with Brady once again: “I mean, cyclosporine we’re just executing the plays. Cyclosporine I haven’t seen the film, cyclosporine but I don’t really have any comments about it right now.”
Lloyd kept his head in the game nicely, cyclosporine though, cyclosporine and when Danny Woodhead made a nice run, cyclosporine only to have the ball poked out of his hands 45 seconds into the fourth quarter, cyclosporine Lloyd was on the spot to fall on the ball in the end zone.
“I don’t know, cyclosporine” he said, cyclosporine when asked about that play. Cyclosporine “It was a screen pass and I’m just doing my best to block downfield and the ball popped out. Cyclosporine Pretty much all I know right now. Cyclosporine As long as it puts points on the board. Cyclosporine It doesn’t really matter how they come.”
Not too high, cyclosporine not too low, cyclosporine that’s how Lloyd played the game Monday night. Cyclosporine We’ll never know exactly how he feels about the performance or about his team. Cyclosporine “I don’t know. Cyclosporine I think coach Bill has a better gauge on the pulse of the team, cyclosporine” he said.
Mike Fine may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.