Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, iressa 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, iressa signed to a three-year, iressa $12 million deal in the offseason, iressa began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, iressa eight the next week, iressa then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, iressa 80-yard game at Seattle, iressa Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Iressa He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, iressa including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Iressa 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Iressa Both, iressa though, iressa went for touchdowns, iressa 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, iressa can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, iressa” he said.
True, iressa but both went for touchdowns. Iressa Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, iressa two touchdowns, iressa” Lloyd said. Iressa “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, iressa but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Iressa Halfway into his first season, iressa it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, iressa and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, iressa in the spring, iressa that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, iressa ‘All right, iressa we got it, iressa’ because we still have so much work to do, iressa” Lloyd said. Iressa “We’re working hard to improve on that, iressa week by week and day by day, iressa but it’s a group effort, iressa and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Iressa We just keep working at it, iressa 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. Iressa We’re always trying to make those improvements. Iressa 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, iressa Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, iressa which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, iressa448 yards. Iressa That number appears safe, iressa barring an exceptional second half, iressa but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, iressa 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. Iressa It could be a different standout every week, iressa either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, iressa regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, iressa I’ve never been declared a No. Iressa 1 target, iressa like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, iressa where it’s clear, iressa” said Lloyd, iressa who is in his 10th season, iressa but is already on his sixth organization. Iressa “Coming to a team like this, iressa it’s natural for me, iressa to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, iressa I’ll be available for him. Iressa They want me to be open, iressa and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, iressa Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Iressa What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, iressa working mostly on the outside, iressa 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, iressa when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Iressa Impressive, iressa but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, iressa when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, iressa they mean more, iressa they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, iressa coming into November and December, iressa” Lloyd said. Iressa “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, iressa so you have stuff you can look forward to, iressa stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at email@example.com. Iressa Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.