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