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