Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, find trandate 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, find trandate signed to a three-year, find trandate $12 million deal in the offseason, find trandate began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, find trandate eight the next week, find trandate then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, find trandate 80-yard game at Seattle, find trandate Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Find trandate He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, find trandate including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Find trandate 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Find trandate Both, find trandate though, find trandate went for touchdowns, find trandate 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, find trandate can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, find trandate” he said.
True, find trandate but both went for touchdowns. Find trandate Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, find trandate two touchdowns, find trandate” Lloyd said. Find trandate “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, find trandate but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Find trandate Halfway into his first season, find trandate it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, find trandate and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, find trandate in the spring, find trandate that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, find trandate ‘All right, find trandate we got it, find trandate’ because we still have so much work to do, find trandate” Lloyd said. Find trandate “We’re working hard to improve on that, find trandate week by week and day by day, find trandate but it’s a group effort, find trandate and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Find trandate We just keep working at it, find trandate 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. Find trandate We’re always trying to make those improvements. Find trandate 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, find trandate Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, find trandate which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, find trandate448 yards. Find trandate That number appears safe, find trandate barring an exceptional second half, find trandate but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, find trandate 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. Find trandate It could be a different standout every week, find trandate either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, find trandate regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, find trandate I’ve never been declared a No. Find trandate 1 target, find trandate like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, find trandate where it’s clear, find trandate” said Lloyd, find trandate who is in his 10th season, find trandate but is already on his sixth organization. Find trandate “Coming to a team like this, find trandate it’s natural for me, find trandate to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, find trandate I’ll be available for him. Find trandate They want me to be open, find trandate and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, find trandate Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Find trandate What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, find trandate working mostly on the outside, find trandate 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, find trandate when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Find trandate Impressive, find trandate but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, find trandate when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, find trandate they mean more, find trandate they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, find trandate coming into November and December, find trandate” Lloyd said. Find trandate “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, find trandate so you have stuff you can look forward to, find trandate stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find trandate Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.