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