Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, omnicef 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, omnicef signed to a three-year, omnicef $12 million deal in the offseason, omnicef began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, omnicef eight the next week, omnicef then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, omnicef 80-yard game at Seattle, omnicef Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Omnicef He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, omnicef including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Omnicef 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Omnicef Both, omnicef though, omnicef went for touchdowns, omnicef 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, omnicef can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, omnicef” he said.
True, omnicef but both went for touchdowns. Omnicef Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, omnicef two touchdowns, omnicef” Lloyd said. Omnicef “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, omnicef but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Omnicef Halfway into his first season, omnicef it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, omnicef and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, omnicef in the spring, omnicef that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, omnicef ‘All right, omnicef we got it, omnicef’ because we still have so much work to do, omnicef” Lloyd said. Omnicef “We’re working hard to improve on that, omnicef week by week and day by day, omnicef but it’s a group effort, omnicef and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Omnicef We just keep working at it, omnicef 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. Omnicef We’re always trying to make those improvements. Omnicef 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, omnicef Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, omnicef which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, omnicef448 yards. Omnicef That number appears safe, omnicef barring an exceptional second half, omnicef but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, omnicef 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. Omnicef It could be a different standout every week, omnicef either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, omnicef regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, omnicef I’ve never been declared a No. Omnicef 1 target, omnicef like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, omnicef where it’s clear, omnicef” said Lloyd, omnicef who is in his 10th season, omnicef but is already on his sixth organization. Omnicef “Coming to a team like this, omnicef it’s natural for me, omnicef to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, omnicef I’ll be available for him. Omnicef They want me to be open, omnicef and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, omnicef Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Omnicef What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, omnicef working mostly on the outside, omnicef 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, omnicef when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Omnicef Impressive, omnicef but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, omnicef when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, omnicef they mean more, omnicef they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, omnicef coming into November and December, omnicef” Lloyd said. Omnicef “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, omnicef so you have stuff you can look forward to, omnicef stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at email@example.com. Omnicef Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.