Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, order artane 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, order artane signed to a three-year, order artane $12 million deal in the offseason, order artane began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, order artane eight the next week, order artane then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, order artane 80-yard game at Seattle, order artane Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Order artane He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, order artane including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Order artane 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Order artane Both, order artane though, order artane went for touchdowns, order artane 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, order artane can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, order artane” he said.
True, order artane but both went for touchdowns. Order artane Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, order artane two touchdowns, order artane” Lloyd said. Order artane “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, order artane but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Order artane Halfway into his first season, order artane it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, order artane and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, order artane in the spring, order artane that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, order artane ‘All right, order artane we got it, order artane’ because we still have so much work to do, order artane” Lloyd said. Order artane “We’re working hard to improve on that, order artane week by week and day by day, order artane but it’s a group effort, order artane and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Order artane We just keep working at it, order artane 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. Order artane We’re always trying to make those improvements. Order artane 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, order artane Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, order artane which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, order artane448 yards. Order artane That number appears safe, order artane barring an exceptional second half, order artane but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, order artane 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. Order artane It could be a different standout every week, order artane either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, order artane regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, order artane I’ve never been declared a No. Order artane 1 target, order artane like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, order artane where it’s clear, order artane” said Lloyd, order artane who is in his 10th season, order artane but is already on his sixth organization. Order artane “Coming to a team like this, order artane it’s natural for me, order artane to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, order artane I’ll be available for him. Order artane They want me to be open, order artane and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, order artane Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Order artane What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, order artane working mostly on the outside, order artane 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, order artane when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Order artane Impressive, order artane but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, order artane when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, order artane they mean more, order artane they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, order artane coming into November and December, order artane” Lloyd said. Order artane “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, order artane so you have stuff you can look forward to, order artane stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Order artane Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.