By Mike Fine, order imdur The Patriot Ledger
FOXBORO — A week removed from his one-reception performance in a win at Miami, order imdur 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, order imdur including a season-best 37-yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady. Order imdur He even recovered a fumble in the end zone to cement the game early in the fourth quarter. Order imdur 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. Order imdur It just wasn’t a big deal.
What does the win – the Pats’ seventh straight – say about the team, order imdur he was asked?
“I don’t know, order imdur” he said.
It means you’re pretty good, order imdur he was reminded, order imdur as if he didn't realize the Texans, order imdur who were 11-1 and had also won six straight, order imdur were just another game on the schedule.
“Obviously, order imdur the Texans are a good football team and we did a pretty good job of executing for the first half for the most part, order imdur but we still have things we need to improve on, order imdur” he said. Order imdur “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, order imdur which is a shame since he was quite enthusiastic earlier in the season. Order imdur It was a shame because he certainly had something to celebrate after this decisive win.
At 2:49 of the first quarter, order imdur the Pats having scored on a Brady-to-Aaron Hernandez 7-yard pass, order imdur Lloyd headed out into the flats and kept on running. Order imdur Brady lofted a perfectly arched ball that fell into Lloyd’s hands, order imdur and he was off for the end zone, order imdur giving the Pats a 14-0 start. Order imdur “Yeah that was definitely a scheme play, order imdur” he said, order imdur “and we worked hard on that all week and when the opportunity presented itself and coach (Josh) McDaniels called it at the right time, order imdur and we were able to take advantage of it.”
“That was well executed, order imdur” said coach Bill Belichick. Order imdur “That was great protection, order imdur great run fake, order imdur and Brandon got a couple of steps behind the secondary and Tom hit him. Order imdur The players did a good job on that.”
Not only was it big for the team, order imdur but also for Lloyd. Order imdur A week earlier he’d been targeted only once, order imdur capping a six-game string of games in which he came up with only 16 receptions. Order imdur In the first six games of the season he came up with 34.
There were questions about his ability to create separation from defenders, order imdur and even his ability to mesh with Brady, order imdur so this performance seemed to slam the door on those thoughts. Order imdur Yet Lloyd said he had no idea how involved he’d be for this game. Order imdur He said he had no thoughts about having such a big game, order imdur either. Order imdur “I don’t know how many yards I had.”
As for clicking with Brady once again: “I mean, order imdur we’re just executing the plays. Order imdur I haven’t seen the film, order imdur but I don’t really have any comments about it right now.”
Lloyd kept his head in the game nicely, order imdur though, order imdur and when Danny Woodhead made a nice run, order imdur only to have the ball poked out of his hands 45 seconds into the fourth quarter, order imdur Lloyd was on the spot to fall on the ball in the end zone.
“I don’t know, order imdur” he said, order imdur when asked about that play. Order imdur “It was a screen pass and I’m just doing my best to block downfield and the ball popped out. Order imdur Pretty much all I know right now. Order imdur As long as it puts points on the board. Order imdur It doesn’t really matter how they come.”
Not too high, order imdur not too low, order imdur that’s how Lloyd played the game Monday night. Order imdur We’ll never know exactly how he feels about the performance or about his team. Order imdur “I don’t know. Order imdur I think coach Bill has a better gauge on the pulse of the team, order imdur” he said.
Mike Fine may be reached at email@example.com.