Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, film 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, film signed to a three-year, film $12 million deal in the offseason, film began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, film eight the next week, film then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, film 80-yard game at Seattle, film Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Film He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, film including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Film 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Film Both, film though, film went for touchdowns, film 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, film can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, film” he said.
True, film but both went for touchdowns. Film Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, film two touchdowns, film” Lloyd said. Film “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, film but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Film Halfway into his first season, film it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, film and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, film in the spring, film that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, film ‘All right, film we got it, film’ because we still have so much work to do, film” Lloyd said. Film “We’re working hard to improve on that, film week by week and day by day, film but it’s a group effort, film and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Film We just keep working at it, film 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. Film We’re always trying to make those improvements. Film 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, film Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, film which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, film448 yards. Film That number appears safe, film barring an exceptional second half, film but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, film 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. Film It could be a different standout every week, film either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, film regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, film I’ve never been declared a No. Film 1 target, film like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, film where it’s clear, film” said Lloyd, film who is in his 10th season, film but is already on his sixth organization. Film “Coming to a team like this, film it’s natural for me, film to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, film I’ll be available for him. Film They want me to be open, film and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, film Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Film What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, film working mostly on the outside, film 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, film when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Film Impressive, film but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, film when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, film they mean more, film they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, film coming into November and December, film” Lloyd said. Film “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, film so you have stuff you can look forward to, film stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Film Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.