Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, isoniazid 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, isoniazid signed to a three-year, isoniazid $12 million deal in the offseason, isoniazid began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, isoniazid eight the next week, isoniazid then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, isoniazid 80-yard game at Seattle, isoniazid Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Isoniazid He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, isoniazid including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Isoniazid 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Isoniazid Both, isoniazid though, isoniazid went for touchdowns, isoniazid 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, isoniazid can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, isoniazid” he said.
True, isoniazid but both went for touchdowns. Isoniazid Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, isoniazid two touchdowns, isoniazid” Lloyd said. Isoniazid “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, isoniazid but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Isoniazid Halfway into his first season, isoniazid it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, isoniazid and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, isoniazid in the spring, isoniazid that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, isoniazid ‘All right, isoniazid we got it, isoniazid’ because we still have so much work to do, isoniazid” Lloyd said. Isoniazid “We’re working hard to improve on that, isoniazid week by week and day by day, isoniazid but it’s a group effort, isoniazid and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Isoniazid We just keep working at it, isoniazid 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. Isoniazid We’re always trying to make those improvements. Isoniazid 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, isoniazid Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, isoniazid which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, isoniazid448 yards. Isoniazid That number appears safe, isoniazid barring an exceptional second half, isoniazid but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, isoniazid 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. Isoniazid It could be a different standout every week, isoniazid either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, isoniazid regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, isoniazid I’ve never been declared a No. Isoniazid 1 target, isoniazid like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, isoniazid where it’s clear, isoniazid” said Lloyd, isoniazid who is in his 10th season, isoniazid but is already on his sixth organization. Isoniazid “Coming to a team like this, isoniazid it’s natural for me, isoniazid to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, isoniazid I’ll be available for him. Isoniazid They want me to be open, isoniazid and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, isoniazid Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Isoniazid What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, isoniazid working mostly on the outside, isoniazid 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, isoniazid when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Isoniazid Impressive, isoniazid but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, isoniazid when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, isoniazid they mean more, isoniazid they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, isoniazid coming into November and December, isoniazid” Lloyd said. Isoniazid “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, isoniazid so you have stuff you can look forward to, isoniazid stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Isoniazid Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.