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