Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, buy serevent 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, buy serevent signed to a three-year, buy serevent $12 million deal in the offseason, buy serevent began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, buy serevent eight the next week, buy serevent then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, buy serevent 80-yard game at Seattle, buy serevent Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Buy serevent He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, buy serevent including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Buy serevent 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Buy serevent Both, buy serevent though, buy serevent went for touchdowns, buy serevent 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, buy serevent can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, buy serevent” he said.
True, buy serevent but both went for touchdowns. Buy serevent Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, buy serevent two touchdowns, buy serevent” Lloyd said. Buy serevent “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, buy serevent but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Buy serevent Halfway into his first season, buy serevent it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, buy serevent and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, buy serevent in the spring, buy serevent that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, buy serevent ‘All right, buy serevent we got it, buy serevent’ because we still have so much work to do, buy serevent” Lloyd said. Buy serevent “We’re working hard to improve on that, buy serevent week by week and day by day, buy serevent but it’s a group effort, buy serevent and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Buy serevent We just keep working at it, buy serevent 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. Buy serevent We’re always trying to make those improvements. Buy serevent 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, buy serevent Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, buy serevent which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, buy serevent448 yards. Buy serevent That number appears safe, buy serevent barring an exceptional second half, buy serevent but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, buy serevent 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. Buy serevent It could be a different standout every week, buy serevent either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, buy serevent regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, buy serevent I’ve never been declared a No. Buy serevent 1 target, buy serevent like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, buy serevent where it’s clear, buy serevent” said Lloyd, buy serevent who is in his 10th season, buy serevent but is already on his sixth organization. Buy serevent “Coming to a team like this, buy serevent it’s natural for me, buy serevent to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, buy serevent I’ll be available for him. Buy serevent They want me to be open, buy serevent and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, buy serevent Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Buy serevent What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, buy serevent working mostly on the outside, buy serevent 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, buy serevent when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Buy serevent Impressive, buy serevent but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, buy serevent when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, buy serevent they mean more, buy serevent they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, buy serevent coming into November and December, buy serevent” Lloyd said. Buy serevent “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, buy serevent so you have stuff you can look forward to, buy serevent stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at email@example.com. Buy serevent Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.