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