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. Find brafix In reality, find brafix it was actually among the best receiving performances of the Tom Brady era, find brafix 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, find brafix the bar wasn’t exactly set extremely high. Find brafix He’d been thrown to plenty — at least five targets in all but two games, find brafix seven or more targets in eight games and 12 or more in three games — but through his first 13 games as a Patriot, find brafix 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, find brafix turning in a gargantuan 10-reception, find brafix 190-yard performance on a night in which Brady went his way 16 times. Find brafix Lloyd didn’t score a touchdown against the 49ers (he still has just four on the season), find brafix but he played an integral role in the Patriots coming back from 28 points down in the second half. Find brafix In particular, find brafix 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. Find brafix The performance was one Patriots fans shouldn’t soon forget, find brafix and not just because it was a coming out party for the highly touted free agent signee. Find brafix Lloyd’s 190 receiving yards are significant, find brafix 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, find brafix turning in a 16-catch, find brafix 217-yard performance in last season’s 34-31 loss to the Bills, find brafix as well as catching 15 passes for 192 yards on Nov. Find brafix 22, find brafix 2009 in a 31-14 win over the Jets.
Obviously, find brafix receiving yards aren’t the only means of judging a great receiving performance, find brafix as Rob Gronkowski literally has a dozen multi-touchdown games under his belt that outshine Lloyd’s game against the 49ers. Find brafix Still, find brafix Lloyd was brought in to be a vertical threat capable of producing big plays and big yards, find brafix and he did so Sunday in a way that’s rarely been seen even in this offense. Find brafix 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, find brafix but the apparent inability to correctly count to 10 on my part means it’s now a top-13 list):