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