Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, deltasone 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, deltasone signed to a three-year, deltasone $12 million deal in the offseason, deltasone began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, deltasone eight the next week, deltasone then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, deltasone 80-yard game at Seattle, deltasone Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Deltasone He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, deltasone including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Deltasone 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Deltasone Both, deltasone though, deltasone went for touchdowns, deltasone 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, deltasone can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, deltasone” he said.
True, deltasone but both went for touchdowns. Deltasone Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, deltasone two touchdowns, deltasone” Lloyd said. Deltasone “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, deltasone but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Deltasone Halfway into his first season, deltasone it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, deltasone and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, deltasone in the spring, deltasone that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, deltasone ‘All right, deltasone we got it, deltasone’ because we still have so much work to do, deltasone” Lloyd said. Deltasone “We’re working hard to improve on that, deltasone week by week and day by day, deltasone but it’s a group effort, deltasone and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Deltasone We just keep working at it, deltasone 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. Deltasone We’re always trying to make those improvements. Deltasone 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, deltasone Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, deltasone which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, deltasone448 yards. Deltasone That number appears safe, deltasone barring an exceptional second half, deltasone but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, deltasone 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. Deltasone It could be a different standout every week, deltasone either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, deltasone regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, deltasone I’ve never been declared a No. Deltasone 1 target, deltasone like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, deltasone where it’s clear, deltasone” said Lloyd, deltasone who is in his 10th season, deltasone but is already on his sixth organization. Deltasone “Coming to a team like this, deltasone it’s natural for me, deltasone to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, deltasone I’ll be available for him. Deltasone They want me to be open, deltasone and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, deltasone Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Deltasone What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, deltasone working mostly on the outside, deltasone 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, deltasone when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Deltasone Impressive, deltasone but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, deltasone when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, deltasone they mean more, deltasone they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, deltasone coming into November and December, deltasone” Lloyd said. Deltasone “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, deltasone so you have stuff you can look forward to, deltasone stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deltasone Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.