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