Globe Staff | By Michael Whitmer
November 9, ranexa 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, ranexa signed to a three-year, ranexa $12 million deal in the offseason, ranexa began his Patriots career with a bang: five catches in Week 1, ranexa eight the next week, ranexa then a season-high nine (for a season-high 108 yards) the week after that.
Save for a six-catch, ranexa 80-yard game at Seattle, ranexa Lloyd’s numbers have dipped a bit since those first three weeks. Ranexa He’s been held to three receptions or fewer in four of the Patriots’ last five games, ranexa including a single 6-yard grab in the overtime win against the Jets on Oct. Ranexa 21.
His most recent game — the 45-7 victory over the Rams in London — saw Lloyd catch just two passes. Ranexa Both, ranexa though, ranexa went for touchdowns, ranexa 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, ranexa can Lloyd carry over that momentum of getting into the end zone?
“It was two catches, ranexa” he said.
True, ranexa but both went for touchdowns. Ranexa Won’t that help his confidence?
“It was two catches, ranexa two touchdowns, ranexa” Lloyd said. Ranexa “We still have a lot of work to do.”
Lloyd has made it his goal of establishing good chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, ranexa but knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Ranexa Halfway into his first season, ranexa it remains very much a work in progress.
For Lloyd, ranexa and for Brady.
“I think I said earlier, ranexa in the spring, ranexa that I don’t think this year we’ll be at a point where we’re like, ranexa ‘All right, ranexa we got it, ranexa’ because we still have so much work to do, ranexa” Lloyd said. Ranexa “We’re working hard to improve on that, ranexa week by week and day by day, ranexa but it’s a group effort, ranexa and that’s what we’re moving forward with.”
Said Brady: “I hope it keeps getting better. Ranexa We just keep working at it, ranexa 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. Ranexa We’re always trying to make those improvements. Ranexa 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, ranexa Lloyd is on pace to challenge his career high of 77 catches, ranexa which came two seasons ago with the Broncos when he piled up a career-best 1, ranexa448 yards. Ranexa That number appears safe, ranexa barring an exceptional second half, ranexa but Lloyd can become a dangerous complementary piece, ranexa 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. Ranexa It could be a different standout every week, ranexa either from a pass catcher or running back Stevan Ridley.
“The teams that I’ve been on, ranexa regardless how talented that I’ve been compared to other pass catchers, ranexa I’ve never been declared a No. Ranexa 1 target, ranexa like a Larry Fitzgerald or a Calvin Johnson, ranexa where it’s clear, ranexa” said Lloyd, ranexa who is in his 10th season, ranexa but is already on his sixth organization. Ranexa “Coming to a team like this, ranexa it’s natural for me, ranexa to make sure that the chemistry between me and Tom is there so when he needs me as an option, ranexa I’ll be available for him. Ranexa They want me to be open, ranexa and they want me to catch the ball.”
Targeted 69 times this season, ranexa Brady and Lloyd are missing almost as often as they’re connecting. Ranexa What felt forced early in the season is now a normal part of the offense: Lloyd, ranexa working mostly on the outside, ranexa 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, ranexa when Lloyd appeared to leap over a Smart Car moving at 35 miles an hour. Ranexa Impressive, ranexa but Patriots fans would prefer to see him soaring into end zones in the second half of the season, ranexa when championships are decided and playoff posturing begins.
“It seems like the games are a lot bigger, ranexa they mean more, ranexa they’re more important coming into the second half of the season, ranexa coming into November and December, ranexa” Lloyd said. Ranexa “Things are starting to shake out in the conferences and the divisions, ranexa so you have stuff you can look forward to, ranexa stuff that you can improve on.”
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ranexa Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.