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By DJ Bean | WEEI.com Blog Network
The takeaway from Brandon Lloyd‘s performance Sunday was obvious: It was his best game as a Patriot. Order ansaid cod In reality, order ansaid cod it was actually among the best receiving performances of the Tom Brady era, order ansaid cod and one that had never even been turned in by Randy Moss in his time with the Pats.
Considering how Lloyd’s first season in New England had gone up until Sunday night’s matchup with the 49ers, order ansaid cod the bar wasn’t exactly set extremely high. Order ansaid cod He’d been thrown to plenty — at least five targets in all but two games, order ansaid cod seven or more targets in eight games and 12 or more in three games — but through his first 13 games as a Patriot, order ansaid cod the former first-round pick had just two performances with 70 yards or more.
Lloyd more than exceeded whatever lowered expectations the last 13 games may have brought, order ansaid cod turning in a gargantuan 10-reception, order ansaid cod 190-yard performance on a night in which Brady went his way 16 times. Order ansaid cod Lloyd didn’t score a touchdown against the 49ers (he still has just four on the season), order ansaid cod but he played an integral role in the Patriots coming back from 28 points down in the second half. Order ansaid cod In particular, order ansaid cod Lloyd’s 53-yard reception with the Patriots on their own 18 yard line put the Pats in striking distance to set up Danny Woodhead‘s game-tying touchdown.
Lloyd also came up with a 24-yard grab on 4th-and-4 with the Pats down by 10 late to set up Stephen Gostkowski‘s field goal. Order ansaid cod The performance was one Patriots fans shouldn’t soon forget, order ansaid cod and not just because it was a coming out party for the highly touted free agent signee. Order ansaid cod Lloyd’s 190 receiving yards are significant, order ansaid cod as they stand as the third-most in a single game for the Pats once since Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe in the 2001 season.
Wes Welker has topped 190 yards twice for the Patriots, order ansaid cod turning in a 16-catch, order ansaid cod 217-yard performance in last season’s 34-31 loss to the Bills, order ansaid cod as well as catching 15 passes for 192 yards on Nov. Order ansaid cod 22, order ansaid cod 2009 in a 31-14 win over the Jets.
Obviously, order ansaid cod receiving yards aren’t the only means of judging a great receiving performance, order ansaid cod as Rob Gronkowski literally has a dozen multi-touchdown games under his belt that outshine Lloyd’s game against the 49ers. Order ansaid cod Still, order ansaid cod Lloyd was brought in to be a vertical threat capable of producing big plays and big yards, order ansaid cod and he did so Sunday in a way that’s rarely been seen even in this offense. Order ansaid cod Here’s a look at some of the biggest receiving performances of the Brady era for the Pats in terms of yards (meant to be a top-10 sort of list, order ansaid cod but the apparent inability to correctly count to 10 on my part means it’s now a top-13 list):