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