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